Are We There Yet?: Lima and Astrid y Gaston

Are We There Yet?: Lima and Astrid y Gaston

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After a long 8 hour drive back from the rainforest, we arrived in Cusco in the late evening.  The food on our rainforest trip hadn’t been as good as we had on the Inca Trail, so we decided to treat ourselves and grabbed a last minute reservation at Chicha.  It’s located very centrally in the middle of Cusco town square and came highly recommended by the hotel concierge.  We actually found out later that it is owned by the same chef that owns Astrid y Gaston, which we had made reservations at the next day.  The food at Chicha was really good – it has a modern take on many of the traditional Peruvian dishes, and in particular I really enjoyed my lomo saltado there.

blue corn chicha and pisco sour
ceviche
alpaca tartare
lomo saltado

The next day we headed to the airport for the short flight back to Lima.  We had heard from our friends that there wasn’t much to do in Lima, so we only budgeted a day there before flying back home.  I had used points to book the Doubletree hotel in Miraflores and overall we liked it.  In particular, it’s in a good, safe location and is walking distance to some of the nearby attractions.  I emphasize safe here because we had heard a lot of horror stories, even some from the locals, about getting in taxis and then being taken into a back alley and being robbed.  So being able to minimize the number of taxi rides we took was a plus for me.

I’ll even spend a minute telling the story of our friend’s night from hell in Cusco, just because it’s absolutely insane what happened.  After a night out at the bars, he inadvertently got separated from the rest of the group, and ended up walking down a back alley.  A man was sitting on the curb and said something to him.  As our friend turned to look at the man, someone hit him in the back of the head knocking him unconscious.  He eventually came to, and realized that his wallet, camera, and phone had been stolen.  Still dazed, he made his way to the main road and flagged down a taxi.  The taxi driver instructed him to sit in the front seat since someone was already in the back seat, and since our friend didn’t have any money to pay he was willing to go along.  This fact was unbeknownst to the driver and his friend, and next thing he knew, the man in the backseat was trying to choke him out.  Our friend managed to wiggle free and jumped out of the taxi.  The taxi driver and his friend then walked over, and frustrated that our friend had no money since he had already been robbed, proceeded to beat him up and broke his arm.  Honestly, I couldn’t even believe the story when I first heard it, but moral is to be safe when traveling through countries such as Peru where threats of violence are real.

Back to Lima…we spent the afternoon walking around, and since we hadn’t had a chance to try and of Peru’s renown rotisserie chicken, visited Pardo’s chicken for a snack.  The food here was fantastic, and I highly recommend it.

Afterwards, keeping up with our tradition of going to World’s 50 Best restaurants whenever we have the chance, visited #35 on the list, Astrid y Gaston.  The food and especially the wine here is great, and it was a much deserved night of gluttony after our Inca Trail and rainforest excursions.  We also thought that the tasting menu here was a good deal in the context of world’s best restaurants, as it is as around $75/person for an 8-course tasting menu.

astrid y gaston

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