A Trip to South America: Peruvian Cuisine at Machu Picchu Restaurant
With work being so hectic, I've barely had a chance to even write posts for you guys, so you know damn well I haven't traveled to South America. I did, however, get the next best thing: food! My single ass went on another date last week(I'll tell you all about my dating life in another post). The choice was between Turkish and Peruvian cuisine. I've never had either and made the decision strictly off instinct. You know what they say, "Trust your instinct or Mickey Mouse will haunt you" and I'm not having that!
We both agreed to take a trip to South America and dine at Machu Picchu on Chicago's northside. As much as I wish this was an actual trip to Peru, getting Peruvian cuisine almost made me just as happy. Y'all know I like to eat and try new things, so this plan was popping!
Enough about me being excited about the date, let me tell you all about Machu Picchu:
Authentic Ambiance took me to Peru
Honestly, I was expecting this place to be super fancy. Instead, it had a down to earth, lowkey ambiance. My guess is that this was to create a genuine aesthetic. I've never been to Machu Picchu or even Peru, but I'm sure this was more authentic than a restaurant with a thousand tables and a reservations-only policy. The inside was small with low-volumed Peruvian music playing. After seeing the beautiful art on the walls I grew to appreciate the ambiance. Since this was our second date, I did appreciate the dim lighting and music. It helped put me at ease and created a semi-romantic vibe. They even put a candle on the table. Ooo la la.
Peruvian Cuisine: Delicious or Nah
The menu was everything! Because I've never had Peruvian cuisine, I was afraid they wouldn't have many options for my no beef or pork diet. They didn't have just one that I liked, but a few. We started off with calamari as an appetizer then dug into the entree menu. Machu Picchu has so many options, we didn't know where to start. Thankfully, our server Javier pointed our tastebuds in the right direction. My date, being the manly man that he is, went with the "Churrasco a lo Pobre". This was a sirloin steak, fried eggs, plantain, rice, and french fries. I didn't try the eggs or steak(no beef, remember), but everything else was amazing! The plantain was sweet(my favorite), rice was full of flavor, and the fries had the perfect crisp. Y'all know the kind I'm talking about. The ones that look like someone cooked them with the fried chicken technique and crunch when you bite them. Baybayyyyy! Sorry, I'm picky about my fries and these aced the test.
I went with the "Arroz con Mariscos". This entree is a hidden gem. Why? The menu might describe it as "Peruvian mixed seafood rice", but it's not that simple. This sit goes hard! If you didn't know, I'm a seafood junkie and this was heaven. It came with mussels, calamari, shrimp, and they topped that bad boy with a crab leg(every black person's weakness). It was delicious! The rice was full of flavor and the seafood seemed fresh. Literally, every bite was better than the last. If, I'm lying I'm flying and my feet are still on the ground.
In addition to having great Peruvian cuisine, Machu Picchu has a BYOB policy. That's right folks, you can bring your own boyfriend. Just kidding, I'm talking about wineeee! Not only do you get to taste delicious food, you get to pair with a wine of your choice for the low low. My date brought two bottles because we both had a crazy week. Cheers to drinking away stress!
Service had Me Feeling All Warm
The service was nothing short of phenomenal. All bullshit aside, I don't think people in the service industry are properly appreciated and I like to give credit when it's due. They truly deserve it. Javier was great from the time we sat until we walked out the door. He was knowledgeable, patient, and had a warming personality. Both of us being Peruvian cuisine virgins, we didn't know what we wanted to eat. Not once did he make us feel rushed or like he was tired of our indecisiveness. Instead, he explained the menu to us, told us his favorites, and gave us delicious recommendations. It's because of him I chose the seafood melody. Shoutout to Javier for being bomb as hell! If you ever go to Machu Picchu and he's your server, give him a hug. And you better tip him!
Thankfully, the date went well and we ended up talking until we were the last ones in the restaurant. Even though they were closing, they didn't push us out. We do have at least a small amount of pride so we left on our own. It was just a nice feeling knowing they were still willing to make us feel welcomed even if they were ready to go home.
Overall their patience and charm made the food 10x better.
Prices that are Nice on Your Wallet
What if I told you you can get delicious food and great service without paying an arm and a leg? Their prices were very reasonable. Most of the entrees were in the $20 range, even the seafood. I do see on their website that they have a 2 can dine for $25 every Monday. Guess who is going back to Machu Picchu on Monday? Meeee!
On top of deals and low-priced meals, the BYOB policy lets you enjoy a bottle of wine without paying restaurant price. Overall you should be able to get an appetizer, entree, dessert, and drinks for less than $75.
If you live in Chicago or are even visiting and want to try Peruvian cuisine, I highly recommend trying Machu Picchu. Intimate ambiance, delicious food, great service for an affordable price. What more could you ask for?
This is my first restaurant review. Yay! Let me know how you like the format and what restaurants I should try.