After learning that one of my fave ceviche spots Rinconcito Peruano (9 Ave. @ 55 or so) wouldn't have anything ready until after 2 p.m, my co-worker Mark and I decided to see if Soup Kitchen International was open yet. But first we took a detour to check out a lady he saw selling some form of South American goodies on the south side of 47 Street. About ten storefronts or so in we saw her standing over two coolers and a large insulated bag. At first I don't think she quite knew why we were there.
When prompted ,she said she had Spanish food -- chicken and seafood paella. Mark asked what type of Spanish food and she proudly said from Peru. That's when I knew we had hit upon something. When I told her my girlfriend was Peruvian, she asked me if I ate ceviche. What luck. She reached into the cooler and retrieved a small container that was densely packed with ceviche mixto. She then took out a small ziplock baggie of cancha, or salted roasted corn kernels, a traditional garnish. To top it off she threw some peppermint gum, a mint, and some really good hot sauce. No doubt, the mint was to mask the rich onion and ginger marinade. At $5 the healthy portion of shrimp, fish, chopped squid and conch was a steal. I guess I'll have to check out SKI another time.
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