Peruvian


THE DINING REPORT – del Inti
Wrath of Ceviche (Luckily no Klaus Kinski though.)

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As I have already posted entries on two different del Inti dinners on this blog, and have hopefully given you the flavor of the place and the food, this chronicle of our most recent dinner might be a bit briefer, and perhaps more participant rather than restaurant oriented. I don’t want to give either the food or the bodies assembled the short end of the stick though, so I will blab on about something or other in this space, since I need something to put between those purty food photos.

So has anyone out there not heard about my shed? How about those chickens?

Okay, perhaps something a bit more Restaurant Roulettesk is in order. IMG_2243As I’ve mentioned before, I like del Inti, and I love the food of Peru (and don’t they have some sort of neat river there, too? I’m not much for those multicolor knitted hats though, they scared me in one of those Werner Herzog movies.) I suppose del Inti could be called a little step-sister of Andina, as the owner and also the¬†primary chef escaped from there. I don’t think either gentleman enjoyed their days at Andina, but really, if you are a Peruvian chef and you come to Portland, where else would you cut your teeth but at the Peruvian big boy in town? Also, the cooking at del Inti is very similar to what you would get at Andina, (it’s Peruvian, after all) not quite on such a large scale, but delicious food and really interesting ingredients.

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THE DINING REPORT- ANDINA
Gasping for Breath Through An Andean Range of Cuisine

Andina, does any restaurant get more requests to go there than this place? Not with the legions of people who have passed through this dining group.IMG_1863 Although the requests might now cease and desist for awhile, it was rare when I had a dinner and someone didn’t mention, “what about Andina?” “I’ve always wanted to go to Andina” or the ever present, “Ooh, I love Andina.” Peruvian cooking really is one of the most fascinating cuisines on the planet, such unusual ingredients and preparations, and of course when people think of Peruvian Cuisine, they think of that flagship of Portland Peruvian Cooking, Andina.

Restaurant Roulette had actually visited Andina before, way back in 2006 as it’s third dinner ever, and I remember our group of seven was quite enthusiastic that evening, and enjoyed what they had, although I myself did a bit of thrashing around trying to decide what to order. IMG_1853Thanks to another Peruvian place in Portland, however, del Inti, I have learned a good deal about the food of Peru in the interim, and saw all kinds of things I was interested in ordering on the Andina menu during our group’s second visit. As it happens though, Andina is never the cheapest place in town (Pearl, need I say more) so I had to limit myself to a couple of dishes and taste as much of other people’s food as I could this evening.
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THE DINING REPORT –¬† A Second Look at del Inti

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This was a private event, not a Restaurant Roulette dinner, but a return to a restaurant we had visited earlier this year.

Every once in awhile something good comes my way because I labor over this blog, usually free food or even a free meal. In this vein, I was recently invited for an introductory meal at del Inti, the introducing in this case to a new chef coming on board to supplement the efforts of del Inti owner/chep Ignacio Del Solar. As the dinner was billed as being mainly for jounalists, I was a bit confused why I was invited, as I’m just a schmoe with a blog, but as the woman who was doing the inviting to this event kindly explained to me, del Inti had remembered the review I had posted on the blog concerning our dinner that had taken place there early in 2009, and as it was relatively extensive, decided to pencil me in. So although I felt somewhat like a critic impostor, I thanked Stephanie Hughes-Pratt heartily, and marked down on my calendar the date for the proposed lunch. Due to an lack of bodies able to attend, the lunch was changed to a dinner about a week later, all the better for me I thought, because who cares about free lunch when they can have free dinner!! (So says the glutton in me!)

So it was early on an absolutely freezing cold December Wednesday that I made my way to del Inti on Alberta, expecting a horde of journalists to hob nob with and feel like an impostor around (I was apprehensive, because I’m actually just a shy gal.) I was the first to arrive, and was shown to our table for, drumroll please, four. About five minutes in I was informed we would be a riotous group of three, as the WW woman had the H1N1 virus, or something dubious like that, and that made me glad she was not so gluttonous as myself, considering she had put hers and others physical well being over free fine dining restaurant food (that would be a tough choice for me.) It did make me wonder about the brain capacity of other keyboard bashers around town though, how could you decline an all encompassing free meal from a really decent restaurant, especially one that serves the always unique food of Peru? What’s wrong with you chuckleheads? (Not that I know what that is, but it doesn’t sound like the brightest thing to be.) But as Stephanie H.P. noted, oh well, more food for us!! (more…)

THE DINING REPORT – del Inti

Which Way To Machu Picchu? (and do they sell pet crows there?)

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Great, just what I need, more things to worry about. Surely, with the way our economy has been going, almost everyone has to be worried about how their way of life will be damaged on a daily basis by our country being so incredibly in the porcelain receptacle. So many people are suffering right now, it’s unlikely it will not trickle down to me at some time, especially as I am just a couple of steps above a poor person as it is (But I bless my lucky stars, a person of modest but so far stable means).

I suppose it’s an offshoot of not really having a family, but I actually spend a certain amount of time worrying and fretting over things that the average person, who has plenty on their plate to consider, probably does not worry much about. For example, over the last few months, I have been worried about some of the good new restaurants who are run by nice people, but seem to be flying under the radar, and are just not busy enough. For example, I’ve been worried since we went there about Belly, it seems like a good, reasonable place, run by friendly, personable individuals, but the Friday we had our dinner there, a few days after the election, they weren’t overly busy.

IMG_0918Now, I have a new place to worry about as well, del Inti. These are really nice people, seemingly very eager to please, and their restaurant is classy and their food is interesting and well prepared, but when we left this establishment Saturday night about 9:30, the place was virtually empty. Portland has such an incredibly competitive dining scene right now, so many great restaurants to select from at every meal, it really scares me to think about the new places you have not heard much about trying to weather the economic implosion we have going on right now, especially in an overstuffed dining local like Alberta.
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