I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Offal Good Eating in Arequipa

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: If meat is being grilled on a stick, immediately get it, you can ask questions later

Doorway to awesome

Sometimes, despite all the research I may do on a city, there are just places that you are meant to stumble upon. Not a place that is mentioned in guidebooks or chowhound, just somewhere you find while wandering around.  Arequipa has many great restaurants on the high end scale, but I walked by them and I they were kind of empty and cold and I was just not feeling it. After a momentary walk, snack of some street churros I found myself walking towards the San Camillo Market area and that is when I found this place. I call it this place because there was no name to the place, just a banner pronouncing “salchichas” and a grill cart that was wafting a smoky perfume into the street.  It had all the signs of a good place to eat: lots of people, meat on a stick, cases of beer and I was clearly the minority. Actually, I do not think they had salchichas, or at least any that I could see people eating. 

Wok of awesome
On the grill was anticuchos, beef heart skewers which was more than enough reason to eat here. But there on the side is a bowl slowly sizzling away got me excited, a wok of offal bits ranging from chitterlings to tripe it had it all. I immediately ordered a mix plate of all and hade one of the best meals in Arequipa. The mix plate came with potatoes without saying and a rocoto sauce that despite my usual rules of avoiding salsas that may contain water, I ignored and willingly accepted any consequences that may have resulted. 

The chitterlings were soft, chewy and fatty and had a slight crisp on the outside. The barnyard essence was not horribly apparent but was still good. The Anticuchos on the other hand were great. The beef was tender, flavorful and I ordered an extra one because I just could not get enough. The rocoto sauce on the side was slightly peppery and sweet and great sauce to slather on everything. For the budget conscious the whole meal cost 15 soles and came without any after meal consequences that can result from eating such foods. Sure this place is not for everyone, I am one of these weird people that like to eat offal good, even the guy that sat down across from me asked if I knew what I was eating. When I answered affirmatively, and a quick interrogation on my background/ethnicity amusingly quipped not that many gringos would eat this. I take that as a compliment. 

Who says mystery meat is bad?

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