OK-- I know another chain of posts was recently put up about the new Peruvian restaurant-- Rinconcito Peruano-, but I am going to go ahead and add a new one, with a review I had written up last weekend but hadn't had a a chance to post. So here it is-- a little redundant based on earlier comments, but hopefully worthwhile for those looking for some authentic Peruvian cuisine right here in Charm City!
Upon moving back from Austin last month, I was very pleased to discover a new Peruvian restaurant with more to offer than the standard pollo a la brasa (the rotisserie chicken that is so ridiculously addictive!). The place is called Rinconcito Peruano and, true to its name, is located on the corner of Ann and Lombard in upper Fells Point (close to Johns Hopkins). My husband (a native Peruvian and hence a more bona fide critic then myself) and I decided to try it out last Friday night and were quite pleased indeed. The options include my all-time favorite-- lomo saltado, which is a scrumptious sautéed mix of strips of sirloin steak with tomatoes, onions, and fried potatoes (pretty much every Peruvian dish must have potatoes in some form or another!). Rinconito's version was a plate piled high with rice and the yummy mixture. Unfortunately, it was rather salty since they had added soy sauce. Their ceviche, however, was soaked in lime juice to perfection. It even came with the standard sides of sweet potato and choclo, which is Peruvian corn (much larger kernels and more starchy than sweet corn).
My husband tried the anticuchos, which is a good option for the adventurous eaters out – anticuchos are skewered beef hearts drenched in a tasty sauce. He said they were made just like back home. For his main dish, he tried the bistec al pobre, which is a slab of beef served with a pile of rice on the side and fried plantains. Not the most exciting meal, but again, my husband was more than satisfied.
For beverages, we tried the fresh-made Chicha Morada, which is a sweet drink made from purple corn—delicious and refreshing. There was also an assortment of fresh-made fruit smoothies, including papaya and passion fruit. I don’t think they have their liquor license yet, although it would be nice if they could eventually get some Peruvian beers in there as an alternative beverage!
Last but not least, for the exceptionally brave-hearted, the owner told us that they even make "cuy" every now and then. Cuy = guinea pig, a delicacy in Peru, which is actually rather tasty if it is cooked right. But have no fears-- the cuy come from a Peruvian restaurant supplier in NJ, not the local PetSmart. But for those who just want something basic, have no fears because Rinconcito also serves up the aforementioned roasted chicken favorite.