A Gastronomic Capital

Wednesday, July 31

We were first off the bus, staying at Casa Fanning in the trendy Barranco neighborhood, south of the more-visited Miraflores area. It was pretty late by the time we got there. 

Lima turns out to be a foodie destination.  It has two of San Pellegrino’s “world’s best 50 restaurants”, and the Eater website has made a list of its 38 Essential restaurants. We took Uber down to the nearest Essential restaurant. (There were alternative services, but I would have had to get their app, create an account, etc.)  It was too late to order food there, and we walked to a Nearby Open Now place which had some tasty basics like barbecued chicken gizzards.  (One of the problems with Google and Yelp listing “business hours” is that the business hours for a bar/restaurant are the entire time the doors are open and drinks are served; kitchen hours are usually much more limited, but never listed separately.  We have often been foiled by this.)

Thursday, August 1

Our hotel was two blocks from the Museo del Arte Contemporaneo, so we walked there and looked around.  It turned out to be a rather tiny museum, but they had some cute things, especially a large wicker-and-water artwork that children were jumping around on.  Most serious things are improved by jumping children, especially their parents.  Other images in heavy rotation were ayahuasca-induced hallucinations.

From there we Ubered up to Huaca Pucllana, the ruins of an ancient Inca pyramid buried under a mountain.  A quite elaborate structure was unearthed, and excavations continue.  The bricks are laid next to each other upright, like books on a shelf.  The people at this pyramid ran out of shelf space long ago, but have hectares of books.

We walked back from there toward the hotel, passing through the Indian Market which had that Shenzen look about it, even if it had been locally crafted.  We stopped at an Essential sandwich restaurant.  We then Ubered back to Barranco for a Free Walking Tour.  It wasn’t nearly as professional as the one in La Paz; it was just some guy taking us to his favorite places, and talking about how the street art was influenced by ayahuasca.  The street art was still pretty great.  I’m glad he wasn’t starving.  He had come from Cuba some years ago — I think I remember his saying that a girl figured into this decision, but even if I don’t remember it, it’s a good guess.  As always, we ended up at a shopping venue.  If you don’t pay for the product you are the product.

I only ever see the handicraft women at these places sewing hems.  I bet the fabric is made elsewhere on giant machines by slave Uighurs.

We’d made a reservation at El Señorio de Sulco, another Essential Restaurant.  We had ceviche, and also their version of an Ancient Incan pork dish made in a clay oven called a Huatia, and smoked trout causa, and purple corn pudding, and everything was quite good.  The wines and Pisco were good too.  Some of the wines we’ve had on this leg of the trip have been more on the Broadening and Educational axis.