Friday, May 29, 2015

Americans trying pass in a Peruvian buffet

Yesterday we got the opportunity to eat at a really nice buffet called Brujas de Cachiche. I'm not sure any of us really knew what to expect but when I think of buffet restaurants I usually think of restaurants CiCi's Pizza or Golden Corral, restaurants that I only know about because of loud TV commercials and have no real desire to go to. Profe assured us, however, that this was one of the best in Peru. Our first clue that this was no Country Buffet was when profe told us all to dress up a little bit. In Cusco, restaurant "dresscodes" were very relaxed and it was not uncommon to see people eating in relatively nice restaurants looking like they were just off the trail. Lima is a little different and the first night at San Antonio I did feel a bit underdressed, but the need to dress up for Brujas de Cachiche was a good sign. We got there and they immediately showed us to our nice table, complete with two sets of forks and knives for each person.

Brujas de Cachiche

Freshly blended juices in Peru are very common and very delicious. At the buffet our juice options were peach, orange, and passion fruit. One indicator of our "American-ness" might have been when several of us ordered mixes of juices like orange/passion fruit. The look on the waiter's face made it pretty clear that mixing juices was not exactly common the same way we would order an Arnold Palmer or anything like it back home. After ordering our drinks, we wandered through the restaurant to the beginning of the buffet line, passing tables of sophisticated looking Peruvians. This was the first point in time where I realized we stuck out a bit. Being a large group we are generally pretty loud, but this time our presence definitely could not go unnoticed as we snaked a line through people's tables while all asking "PROFE WHAT IS THIS?" and "ESTA COMIDA TIENE LECHE?". Our next mistake came when a lot of us (myself included) decided to try to do the whole buffet in one swoop. In one hand I had my appetizer plate, which consisted of various forms of potato dishes, ceviche, and vegetables. In the other hand I had a plate filled with different rice dishes, chicken and other meats, beans, and tamales. I didn't notice until after that most of the other tables got their appetizer plate first. Then once everyone at the table was finished, they all went up to get their main course. It is possible that the Peruvians didn't notice our small mistakes, but it is also quite possible that we perpetuated certain American stereotypes as we barreled past them while double fisting full plates of food. Dessert was a large sample of different classic Peruvian desserts and freshly cut fruit. Some of the desserts we got to try included alfajores, suspiro a la limeña (a classic dessert from Lima that tastes similar to dulce de leche), flan, tres leches cake, a slightly redeeming version of the "robitussin pudding" we ate at Casa Elena, and last but not least apple pie (which in the words of Jeff lacked a "little bit of patriotism").

Suspiro a la limeña

All in all, Brujas de Cachiche was a fantastic choice for lunch and worlds apart from any classic American buffet restaurant I've ever heard of. We may have stuck out like sore thumbs a bit as Americans but we had good food with good company and that is all you can really ask for!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.