We finally visited Estampas Peruanas in Redwood City the other night. The highlight was the stuffed
llama? alpaca? guanaco? on the stage. The food was good but not all that impressive.
Bisteck a lo Pobre (broiled steak with sauteed onions, tomatoes, banana and fried eggs, served with rice) ($11.50?) was just OK, with the tough meat cooked past the requested medium. It reminded me of a dish my mom made growing up where shed dump a can of tomatoes over beef, onions, and rice. (Incidentally, my mom was astounded when Id heard of two exotic dishes she tried at an Italian restaurant the other night. Pesto and tiramisu.) The bright spot in the bisteck was the fried plantains.
I thought Saltado de Pollo (chicken strips sautéed with onions, tomatoes and special herbs, served with rice and French fries) ($11.50?) was the better dish. The chicken had a soft breading on it. The French fries were actually mixed in with the dish. Youd think French fries couldnt get much better, but mixed in with some chicken and tomatoes they are pretty tasty. Nothing spectacular though.
Friends ordered an appetizer of Papa a la Huancaina (halved boiled potatoes topped with sauce made of fresh cheese and milk) ($5.50?) which came to the table with a cold nacho cheese like sauce, and tasted better than one might think. The menu also has a lot of seafood dishes we missed out on, such as the shellfish stew which is supposed to be a specialty.
I finished with an Alfajore ($1.25), which was nice and flaky, with a thin layer of dulce de leche. In fact this was the best part of my meal.
Our server was very friendly and made lots of menu recommendations. The room is nicely decorated with all manner of Peruvian artifacts (including that kick-ass llama/alpaca/guanaco).
715 El Camino Real (at Brewster)
Redwood City, CA 94063
Tues.-Sun. 11 a.m. 9 p.m.
There is also a location in San Mateo.