Wednesday, August 26, 2009

El Rico Pollo - Peruvian Food

In February of this year the attorneys in our law firm, as well as spouses, went to Peru for a week to celebrate the firm's 15th anniversary. We had a wonderful time. As a post-trip event, we hade a slide show of our trip at El Rico Pollo, a Peruvian restaurant located at 2013 Diners Court in San Bernardino (phone: 909-890-0539). We invited the law firm staff to attend the event as well. We ordered a large variety of food and set it out, buffet style. Half of the seating arrangment below.
The other half.

One of the dishes we had was choclo con queso, Peruvian corn on the cob served with white, Peruvian cheese. The corn kernals in Peru are substantially bigger than those on American corn, a little hard to tell in the picture below. The cheese is very mild. The restaurant proprietors suggested we eat it in combination with some green aji sauce they provided. Aji is a Peruvian chile that gives it a little bit of a kick.

We also had some chicken causa. The bottom and top of the causa is composed of potatoes (Peru has thousands of varieties of potatoes and there are many Peruvian potato dishes), lime juice and aji chilies. So it has a citrusy tang with a little heat as well. The middle is chicken mixed with mayonnaise, celery, peas and carrots.

Abel, the proprietor, made a special dish for me, not normally on the menu. It was octopus causa. He had helped me out earlier when I made my own octopus causa. The middle was made with chunks of octopus, mayonnaise and Peruvian olives. It, along with everything else, was delicious.

Another appetizer type dish we had was ocopa, a spicy cheese sauce on potatoes. It is apparently a specialty from Arequipa, Peru, where Abel is originally from.

Papa a la huancaina is very similar to Ocopa, but the cheese sauce is made a little differently. My understanding is that this dish originated in an area north of Lima.

Papa rellena is a potato ball, very similar to the consistency of tater tots, filled with ground beef, onion, boiled egg and olives. It is very different and fun.

One of our group fell in love with yucca fries in Peru, so we had to make sure we had some of them.

The next dish is parrillada mixta para 2 personas (mixed grill for two people). It is an enormous amount of food, including a pork chop, pork sausage flavored with paprika, carne asada (steak), anticuchos (beef heart), chicken filet and french fries. Peruvian food is very spicy and all of the meat is wonderful.

Arroz chaufa de carne is pieces of chicken mixed with fried rice, green onions and egg.

Beef, beans and rice.

Pescado frito (fried fish).

Pollo entero (a cut-up whole chicken) - very spicy and good.

Tallerin verde con pollo (green spaghetti served with chicken and pesto).

Tiradito de la casa (fish marinated in aji chili and lime juice).

Tiradito de olivo (fish marinated in olive and lime juice).

I have learned to love Peruvian food, something I had not had until about 8 months ago. I love the spiciness and very distinct flavors.

1 comment:

  1. I stumbled across your blog and I also love peruvian food.
    If you are by San Francisco, try La Mar Cebicheria, (Pier 1 1/2), one of the restaurants of renowned peruvian chef Gaston Acurio.
    You are going to love it!