We had one of our best meals of the trip and definitely the best meal of our Sacred Valley segment at a small place on a back street in the town of Urubamba called El Huacatay. We have a chef in Boston who has Peruvian roots and a Peruvian restaurant called Taranta to thank, since our guidebook Lonely Planet didn’t include it. Behind a wooden door on a dark narrow street the restaurant opens up into a small courtyard where the kitchen is to the left and a small two room building, very cozy, very busy with a large German group and in our room another smaller group of Germans and Peruvians.
Here is what we ate:
potato coconut cream soup, yellow potatoes with two chili dressed shrimp on a skewer and crispy wonton threads
Caprese salad “Peruvian remix”, sliced tomatoes with Medan cheese fried in a kiwicha crust, served with Andean mint, dried yacona nd a carob vinegarette.
Mayala Frita, roasted beef shirt with a pachamanca sauce, a quail egg over green colored rice, lightly fried potatoes and a mint onion salad.
Sautéed shrimp in a mild red chili paste, with orange slices, creamy mashed potatoes with. Risky avocado slices fried in panko.
The photos below are of Cusco: me on the balcony of the church in the San Blas neighborhood, which is deceptively modest on the outside. Inside it has a stunningly ornate gold altar, an equally ornate wood carved pulpit ( complete with a skull said to be that of the altar’s carver.)
and many beautiful Cusco school paintings and sculptures; another of D with the alpacas roaming around at Sacsaywaman, the imposing Inca fortress above the city; the last is of me catching my breath after the strenuous uphill climb to Sacsaywaman from downtown Cusco.