If you like grilled Peruvian food (apologies to the vegetarians) you can’t do much better in Lima than Panchita. It is loosely modeled on an anticucheria. Anticuchos are, principally but not exclusively, cow’s heart kebabs. Other tripes that Peruvians skewer and grill also fall under the category. Done well, they are surprisingly succulent.
I am not particularly fond of anticuchos, and there is much else to satisfy on the menu of this restaurant created by Gaston Acurio, whose celebrity among living Peruvians is matched perhaps only by that of Mario Vargas Llosa. (Update: Newest Acurio restaurant reported set to open in Chicago in March).
The yucca stuffed with seco limeño, as a first course, was superb. Accompanied by a rocoto chile sauce. And don’t forget to order huancaina sauce with pretty much whatever you eat. It’s a right proper partner for the potato.
Our only compliant: The restaurant’s acoustics. Get a sound designer in there, Gaston. The place gets loud!
Item: If you’re looking for a good Peruvian food blog (Sp.) check out Cucharas Bravas. Its Panchita review. If you’re looking for good ceviche, Panchita is not the place. But then, real Limeños don’t eat ceviche for dinner. I learned that the hard way some years ago ordering it in front of my in-laws after dusk.