Anticuchos & Intestines in Lima. Good or Gross?

Had an interesting evening last night. Nothing too crazy. One of the most the most popular foods here in Lima is a dish called Anticuchos. Basically it’s chunks of heart meat from a cow on a skewer and grilled. Cow heart meat kebabs (kebabs are meat chunks on skewers in the States, I understand that means shwarma in much of Europe. Get over it!) on sticks and grilled.

I loved the idea of feasting on heart meat, but just hadn’t had the right opportunity. Last night, Alvaro(a cool guy that works at my hostel) suggested that I get Anticuchos at a restaurant in El Barranco. El Barranco is an area next to Miraflores (where I’m staying) just to the north.

A taxi ride would cost me 5-7 soles each way. But I saw on the map that I could just walk along the sea most of the way. I decided to walk it on the way there, and take a taxi home. And so that’s what I did…

The walk on the way there was splendid. I walked along the sea for most of the trip. The sea here is pretty cool. Not really beaches. But little areas. In one area there are play grounds with a bunch of grass and cool stuff. Lots of kids always playing.

In another area, there is a mall area called Larco Mar (that’s your halfway landmark on the way to Barranco) featuring Tony Roma’s, Burger King and other Gringo establishments. It’s actually a good place to go for Peruvian’s versions. Prado’s Chicken is what I ate yesterday for lunch actually. But they also have a place called Bembo’s (I think that’s what it’s called) that seems to be the Peruvian McDonalds. The burgers looked really thick…really thick. If I had more time here, I would probably stop in and see what’s up…but there are just too many good things I must try here in such a short time. Maybe on the other side of my trip.

I passed the big highway so I knew I was in Barranco. After a while of weaving through the city streets, I started asking for ‘Parque del Barranco’. After arriving there and walking around a bit, I started asking for “El Puente de Suspiros”. From there I saw right away the restaurant Alvaro told me about. A big building with lots of “wood shelves”. That’s all he had. Turns out it’s called Tio Mario.

I went in, got a seat right away toward the window. It was a nice place. Not too fancy, but definitely not trashy. Upper middle class. Young crowd. I liked it. I definitely wanted to try Anticuchos but there was a bunch of stuff on the menu (lots of pictures!) that looked kinda good…or at least interesting.

I ended up getting a mix plate that had to Anticuchos and 3 of the other “things”. Along with potatoes too. The potatoes were just ok. Basically boiled potatoes. Just ok is actually being nice. They were potatoes.

The Anticuchos were good. Not wonderful. It was cool to know that I was eating heart meat. But if you just put that on my plate, didn’t tell me it was anything strange, I’m not sure I would have even noticed. The meat was cooked well, juicy, a little pink inside. But nothing special.

The other stuff? Pretty disgusting. A bunch of intestines, little kidney’s…who knows what the fuck I was eating. Some of it looked like it was straight off an octopus. But I know that wasn’t the case. I asked

But I’m still glad I ordered that dish. Cause now I know. But that won’t stop me from trying them the next time I have the desire.

Today I mentioned to Ismael my experience at Tio Mario. He says it’s better to eat Anticuchos from little old women with a grill on the street. That sounds about right.

Bottom lines:

  1. Tio Mario – decent place. No need to go there. But getting there from Miraflores is a nice walk. And if you ask for the Parque de Barranco and from there the Puente de Suspiros, you find a very nice place.
  2. Anticuchos – just ok. But I’m still open. I will definitely try them from a little old lady on the street and report back later.
  3. Intestines – fucking disgusting.

Till the next time,

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