Monday, November 30, 2009

Machu Picchu Restaurant

Christy and I went out to lunch today. We had intended to visit a new-to-us Mexican place but when we got there it looked a little..... uncertain. So we went across the street to a place that Christy had heard of and was eager to try. Machu Picchu- Peruvian fare. I've never had Peruvian food and was excited to try something new. Christy had actually travelled to Peru many years ago so lunch was a great time for her to recount her adventures there. It's a simple looking place, in a strip mall. It's in a part of town that has been struggling with this economy. The interior is nicely done- very welcoming. Clean, well kept and cared for, and nice touches of Peruvian art and such.
We start looking over the menu and, honestly, it's overwhelming because we aren't familiar with the food. Thankfully, our server (who may have been the owner) was very knowledgeable and offered suggestions. He came to the table with a basket of sliced bread (looked basically like french bread) and a small bowl of a dip for that bread. It was a pale green and was very much mayonnaise based but spicy. First, we tried a drink that they make in the restaurant by hand. It's called Chica Morada (purple corn). From the wiki page: Chicha morada is not fermented. It is usually made of ears of purple maize (choclo morado) which are boiled with pineapple rind, cinnamon, and clove. This gives a strong purple-colored liquid which is then mixed with sugar and lemon. It. was. heaven. We both agreed that our next trip would include a pitcher of this beverage instead of a single glass for each of us.
As an appetizer, we had the Papa Rellena. It's stuffed mashed potatoes that are deep fried. Sounds bizarre. But man oh man... so so good!! This recipe was very close to what we enjoyed except that the egg in ours was a hard boiled egg. I tried to snag a picture but... we were enjoying the food so much that I just didn't even think about taking a picture until we had consumed the Papa Rellena. We did still have the salad- but I couldn't stop eating it. Lettuce, tomato, red onion in a very lime based dressing. Lime, vinegar, cilantro maybe? Either way- divine. At one point, I think I had a food-gasm with one of those salad bites. For reals.
And taking the suggestion of our waiter, we ordered the Bisteck a lo Pobre. Thankfully, we had opted to share it. This was a HUGE plate of food! Our waiter told us that a lot of men come in and get an appetizer and this meal and a dessert and eat every bite! I'll tell you now- we couldn't finish it. Steak, 2 eggs, sliced tomatoes, white rice, white beans, french fries, and plaintain.
At this point, we were both insanely full. Each bite was delicious. I can't complain about a single thing from our meal. It was a little pricey... but when the food and atmosphere are exactly right, the price tag should match.
Christy and I will definitely be heading back. Next time, we plan to have a pitcher of the chicha, an order of the papa rellena, and then go right to dessert- Crema Volteada (Peruvian style custard carmel) or Budin de Pan (bread pudding).
Machu Picchu Restaurant is located on W 38th St near Moller Rd.
5356 W 38th St
Indianapolis, IN 46254
(317) 388-8696


Garret said...

Sounds yummy!

Joanie said...

If I'm ever in Indianapolis, I'm meeting you there for a meal!