I went to Mi Lindo Peru on Friday evening after reading a review of it in the Guardian or SF Weekly. It's just south of the intersection of Mission and Valencia, between El Zocalo (which is El Salvadorian, has very good pupusas and a beer I like called Suprema), and Blue Plate (which has been discussed recently here). It's also across the street from a pretty good Thai place (although quality was perhaps lower on my most recent visit) called Dusit.
Mi Lindo Peru serves... Peruvian cuisine. This may seem obvious, but for some reason, after I mention the name everyone I've told about it asks, "What kind of food?".
It's a very well kept place, and manages an air of quiet elegance while staying on a budget -- no mean trick! The staff was friendly, attentive, and helpful.
Upon being seated we were given water (filtered from a Brita pitcher), a basket of bread, some butter or margarine (which I didn't try), and some excellent chunky and spicy salsa to put on the bread.
I ordered an iced tea, which had an distinctive flavor and was served in a carafe that held about three servings, while my friend had an interesting sweet drink, deep purple in color, that was described as a peppercorn drink.
The menu is extensive, with some familiar looking dishes and some which, at least to me, were not familiar. Portion sizes can only be described as huge, so be advised when ordering: an appetizer and one entre will probably suffice for two people.
To start, we had the Ceviche Mixto ($7.95), which was excellent, with squid, shrimp and white fish. It also had an interesting touch: a scattering of toasted corn kernels.
For a main dish, I tried the Saltado de Camarones ($11.95), which was described as shrimp sautéed with tomatoes, onions and french fries, served with seasoned rice. I thought this was a mistake, but no, the French fries had been sautéed along with the other ingredients and an excellent gravy. The result, though odd, was very good and all the ingredients were of fine quality. The rice came dotted with steamed corn kernels (I see a Peruvian theme developing here).
My friend had the equivalent dish, but with chicken ($8.95).
We were too stuffed for dessert, but vowed to return soon to try other dishes.
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