The last two days of our trip were spent in Lima, Peru’s capital. I normally like to find the positive in every city’s character, but I found Lima to be gray and dodgy with a negative energy. There is a very lonely and dangerous element there.
Still, there are some sweeter aspects of the city.
The balconies are one of the main attractions. Some citizens are saving money to have them preserved. We stopped at a restaurant near the Plaza de Armas and sat in the balcony as families walked by.
They look poetic, don’t they?
On the first day we arrived, we took a walk from the Miraflores neighborhood towards the city center. We started to get hungry in the early afternoon, but all of the small restaurants we passed offered fish and meat specialties for lunch. I noticed a health food store in a neighborhood called Lince, and E. saw that they offered a fixed menu (an appetizer, entree, dessert, and tea) for U.S. $2. The shop was called Vida Abundante at Petit Thouars No. 2545.
The soup entrada was so good on a chilly day. When I first saw the soup, I thought the whole corn was a flower garnish. The restaurant offered traditional Peruvian meals with soy meat. Peruvian cooks are fantastic–dare I say the best in South America? The only downside to Peruvian food is that cooks serve potatoes with rice. I don’t have a problem with eating carbs, but two carbs at one meal is a little heavy.
I will never forget the suspiro dessert we ate at Maga mis Suspiros in the barrio of Miraflores. Suspiros are a rich Peruvian pudding with meringue cream on top. E. and I shared a passionfruit suspiro. The pudding was the richest I’ve ever tasted and must have been comprised of real passionfruit and cream. We left our camera back at the hostel, so I don’t have a picture, but I did find a photo of elegant lemon suspiros here. The dessert shop was written up in LAN Airline’s magazine “In.” Maga mis Suspiros is located at Avenida Benavides 1113, Miraflores.
One of our favorite aspects of the city was the bustling public transport. The minibuses appear to be privately owned by a number of companies. When the buses brake at the street bus stops, a designated “salesman” jumps off and cajoles pedestrians and passersby to hop on. Sometimes they shout out chants. Sometimes they flirt with the young ladies walking by. When the bus starts up again, the salesman collects the money, hands out tickets, and then sticks his head out of the side door to look for other prospective riders.
We arrived on the weekend of the Festival of the Papa (potato). A tasty Peruvian potato dish is called Papas a la Huancaína which is cooked potatoes with a yellow cream pepper sauce and olives and hard boiled eggs on top.
The grocery store had an entire aisle dedicated to all of the types of potatoes.
Last but not least, the Plaza de Armas in the center of the city is a must-visit.