Tag Archives: peruvian

Flor de Mayo

You are in for a treat this week! Flor de Mayo is one of my favorite restaurants around Columbia, located on Broadway between 100 and 101. The food is delicious and interesting. It is a Peruvian-Chinese (Chino-Latino) restaurant. These two cuisines seem be a strange mix at first, but there is a history that bridges the two. The earliest Chinese traveled to the Latin world as slaves or contracted laborers. Later, Chinese ventured to Peru in order to escape communism or anti-Chinese sentiment in their settled countries. Thus, Chinese culture and cuisine has become popular in Peru. Peru ‘s population is 5% from Asian background, which is the largest of any Latin American country.

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It was not until going to Flor de Mayo that I learned about this heterogeneous masterpiece. The dishes at Flor de Mayo do not portray a mix of Chinese and Peruvian flavors. Rather, there are Chinese and Peruvian dishes that are served alongside one another and, surprisingly, balance each other perfectly. The menu is even split in two, with one portion representing ‘Spanish Food’ and the other representing ‘Chinese Food.’

Among the Peruvian specialties is their pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken), which is beyond delicious. It is so simple, yet so flavorful and juicy. Their other great meat dish is the broiled pork chop, which comes out piping hot and crispy, yet moist. Both of these meat dishes are always cooked to perfection, with a golden outside, but never too dry.

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The cilantro rice compliments the chicken perfectly. The cilantro is subtle and gives the rice a refreshing taste. It is delicious to have a bite alone whilst eating all of the other abundantly flavored dishes. Another great Peruvian side dish is the plantain, which comes in sweet and green varieties. The green plantains are fried and mashed flat. They come with a pungent, garlic sauce, which goes well on everything. I love the strong garlic flavor so much that I tend to pour it over everything I serve myself.

Flor de Mayo
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The Peruvian dishes on their own are enough to make anyone want to eat here, but there are other great Chinese dishes. The crispy shrimps are one of my favorites. They are shrimp cooked with the shell on (to maintain the flavor and texture) and scallions in a brown, ginger sauce. The Chinese fried rice is just like any that you could get at other restaurants, but it mixes with the food so well, that it is worth ordering .Who doesn’t like fried rice?

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These are only a few among the incredible variety that Flor de Mayo offers, and I can confidently say that the majority of their dishes are delicious, because all of the ones I have tried are! I have never had a bad meal here, and I always leave excited for the next meal I’ll enjoy at Flor de Mayo.

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New and Unusual: Warique Peruvian Restaurant

Tacu Tacu con Lomo Saltado

While for the past several weeks my friends and I have been traveling downtown to find restaurants with uncommon cuisines, this weekend we managed to stay in Columbia’s neighborhood. Warique Peruvian Restaurant is located on Amsterdam Avenue between 101st and 102nd street. The restaurant is not very large but offers a fairly large selection of Peruvian foods at a range of prices and in a pleasant atmosphere. There are, unsurprisingly, a huge number of Latin American cuisines with most countries and areas having distinct dishes and elements. This diversity is often not represented in the restaurant world in which Latin American food is dominated by Mexican, Cuban, and a handful of other national cuisines. I was therefore every excited to experience Peruvian food and soon came to find that there are many distinct elements.

Warique Interior

The restaurant has a wide variety of dishes including many chicken and seafood options and uses a variety of unique spices, flavors, and preparation techniques. Unfortunately there was too great a diversity of foods and too few people with me to get a real sample of what Warique has to offer. Nevertheless what we did have we very much enjoyed. As an appetizer we ordered Tamales con Pollo, a fairly simple dish with a corn-based dough exterior filled with chicken and served with some onions, a lime spice, and some other accompaniments.

Tamales

For entrees we ordered the Tacu Tacu con Lomo Saltado, which was a dish of beef sautéed with onions and tomatoes and served with served with potatoes, sweet plantains, and a rice and bean mix topped with fried egg. We also ordered the Arroz Chaufa which was essentially a Peruvian style fried rice dish. Interestingly there seemed to be a fairly large amount of Chinese influence in the food at Warique and perhaps this is due to the large Chinese community of Peru and their influence on the country’s cuisine.

Peruvian Fried Rice

In any case, I was very satisfied with the meal and also with the restaurant as a whole. The atmosphere was bright, open, had a fair amount of traditional decoration and the wait staff was quite attentive. The pricing was very diverse with some entrees reaching $30 but others less than half of that. The portions were extremely large, such that finishing my entrée was quite the accomplishment. In this sense the restaurant seems to me very well priced. Overall, I would recommend a visit to anyone interested or looking for a good meal and pleasant experience.