Lima - a Foodie's Paradise

Trip Start Jun 15, 2013
1
Trip End Jun 30, 2013


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Flag of Peru  , Lima Region,
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lima was a whirlwind. We landed early and despite all warnings, made it through customs and crazy Lima traffic to out hotel in just an hour! The cab ride was a bit scary at first as we traveled through the impoverished areas near the airport to affluent Miraflores where we were staying - I had all the dire warnings of Lima hijacking and crime in my head. Turns out they were either exaggerated or we were just really lucky, because our time in Lima passed safely and uneventfully.

Lima Lima Lima - it's often called the next big food place and holy crap, I have to agree. We had three big meals to eat and we made the best of it. Peru's most famous chef is Gaston Acurio - called the Gordon Ramsey of Peru - and we visited two of his restaurants. We went to Panchita for our first taste of Peruvian food which is Peruvian style street food elevated. The restaurant was gorgeous, stylish and filled with a mix of trendy Peruvians and curious tourists. Funny to see the mix of people and clothing -
Tight jeans and North Face jackets. The food here was SO good - we had mashed potato balls stuffed with beef stew then deep fried as an appetizer and crispy wood- fired pork belly with potatoes for our main. All I can say is Peruvians do amazing things with potatoes and pork. Tony and I scarfed every bite. We had all these little dishes of dips and sauces and they were all so tasty and flavourful. Amazing. Best thing is the meal with 4 drinks cost us half to a third what it'd cost in Toronto.

The next day we tried to fit in as much of Lima as we could. We spent most of the morning and afternoon exploring Lima's historical centre. We visited the beautiful Plaza De Armas to see the changing of the guards ceremony. Interesting to see that it actually seemed like there were more local Peruvians than tourists. Tony and I got a lot of stares - not sure if cuz we were Asian or because we were so inappropriately dressed for a Peruvian winter haha - Tony in shorts and me in a maxi skirt and sandals. We figured we were Canadian and could handle it - we're now in Cusco and wishing we had our down jackets haha. We visited also the San Francisco Monastery and San Domingo Convent - 2 of Peru's oldest Catholic orders. We did a tour of each and it was pretty fascinating to learn about how the Spanish Catholic missionaries succeeded in converting Peru during the Colonial period. Tons of Spanish/Moorish influences and both very beautiful places. The coolest thing is we visited this underground catacomb which is the oldest public cemetery in Lima. There were thousands of skulls and femur bones in these tunnels under the church - all stacked in top of each other. Morbid but definitely fascinating to walk through. Unfortunately we weren't able to take pics there. The other was the bell tower of the convent - we went up quite high and saw really old bells and great viewpoints of Lima.

After, we went to La Mar - another Gaston restaurant - to have ceviche! Probably Lima's most famous dish and something we were so looking forward to trying here cuz we love it. Lima is raw fish cooked in lime juice with herbs and chilis - incredibly refreshing and flavourful. We had a ceviche starter with 5 different variations and it was as good as we could imagine. So fresh and bursting with flavour and interesting combinations. We also had this amazing dish of grilled octopus and calamari with potatoes - we were practically licking the plate at the end of it. I also tried the pisco sour - Peru's most popular cocktail. It tasted a lot like a whiskey sour but frothier - definitely packed a punch though and I was buzzed after just one.

We also visited the Magical Water Circuit - this really cool but bizarre park where the government has installed 9 different fountains. Some of them were really cool - like the Bellagio fountain. Others were fun and interactive and you could walk or run through them and try to stay dry. It was nice seeing tons if local Peruvian families and couples walking around and enjoying the atmosphere.

We finished the night at a restaurant literally set on top of old inca ruins. Not sure how they get permission but the location was really beautiful. Unfortunately the food was no where near at good as the Gaston restaurants and cost us more. We're now going to try as many of his restaurants as we can in all of the places we go in Peru haha.

So that was our whirlwind tour of Lima. The town itself was okay but we fell in love with the food. Amazing food for amazing prices. We have 1 last dinner in Lima our last night and were hoping to make it to Gaston y Astrid - rated 14th best restaurant in the world! Were in Cusco now and it is the most lovely little town Ive seen but I'll update about that later. 3 more days until our Inca Hike and 7 days until Machu Pichhu!

xo Lily
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HL on

that's it? one entry?! write! post pics!

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