On our first night in San Jose, we asked at our hostel where we could get some good food nearby. The owner asked us a few things about ourselves and discovered that Gonzalo is from Peru, so he suggested a great Peruvian restaurant a few blocks away. Machu Picchu gets its name from Peru's most well-known tourist destination, the centuries-old Incan ruins of Machu Picchu. Gonzalo and I went there when we visited Cuzco in 2004.
The food at Machu Picchu was excellent! Gonzalo ordered Lomo Saltado (or Salteado), a beef tenderloin stir-fry with marinated beef, red onions, tomatoes, fresh cilantro and fried yellow potatoes, served with white rice. Almost all Peruvian dishes are served with plain white rice and potatoes - potatoes have different flavors in Peru and are used for their flavor, not as a main starch. The beef had a great flavor and the vegetables were cooked perfectly. It also came with a spicy sauce - so spicy that we started coughing if we tasted too much!
I ordered ceviche and a seafood soup. The soup came with scallops, shrimp, crab (a WHOLE small crab!), fish, and oysters. It had a great tomato-vinegar flavor and the seafood tasted great. The ceviche tasted old, not like it was freshly marinated. We both ordered fresh juices and they were amazing. I hadn't had guanabana before, so I decided to try it. It was a creamy white drink that tasted tropical and slightly like banana.
The total bill was more expensive than we were expecting (around $30 US) but worth it.