In December, our ladies group met at Machu Picchu in downtown San Mateo for dinner. Nothing really stood out, or maybe Im tiring of Peruvian food.
Briefly, the best thing was the very spicy chimichurri sauce used as a dipping sauce for the soft spongey bread or dabbed on the entrees to add complex heat. The other chili sauce was fine, but not as exciting as versions made with aji panca or rocoto chilis.
Appetizers: Anticuchos (grilled beef heart), usually my favorite thing at Peruvian places was disappointing and liver-ish . . . no converts won this night. Papa a la Huancaina, shown below, had a mild and pleasant feta cheese sauce, but it was hard to ignore the frozen veggies. Ceviche Mixto was nice.
Entrees: The squid in my deep-fried jalea platter was overcooked and tough, yet the fried ling cod come out just right. The best thing on the plate, though, was the big hunks of fried yucca (foreground of center photo). The lomo saltado I tasted was on the bland side, not jazzed up with soy sauce, but soon remedied with the chimichurri sauce.
Desserts: This was the best part of the meal. The housemade alfajores elicited some oohs from my friends. Even better was a rich, dense thick slice of flan-like dessert.
Id brought a bottle of 1994 Tinto Pesquera Ribera del Duero which was velvety, deep and spicy, and far outshone the food.
Machu Picchu Restaurant
112 South B-Street
Tuesday thru Sunday from
11:30 am to 10:30 pm.