Happy or Hungry Eats the World: Paracas Peruvian Restaurant (Peru)

I am on a mission to eat an authentic dish from every country in the world, right here in Toronto. You can find all past recaps here.

My 21st country is Peru!

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I have never eaten Peruvian food before, so I was looking forward to it. Evan and I went to Paracas Peruvian Restaurant (Paracas is the capital of the Paracas District in the Ica Region in Peru) on St Clair W with Dawn, Mark, Emily and Corey before we did Escape Casa Loma.

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I asked Evan to take a picture of us girls and this is what I got.

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Not quite.

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Better.

St Clair W seems to be the Peruvian hot spot of the city — there were three Peru restaurants to choose from and Paracas was actually our last choice. I first tried to make reservations at El Fogon (which has amazing reviews) and Dona Luz, but unfortunately both were closed early that Sunday due to the holidays. So Paracas it was, and I was worried it was going to be a let down because of some iffy reviews, but let me tell you, we had an AMAZING experience. It could not have been any better.

We ordered a ton between the six of us and everything we tried was delicious. Most of us (not preggers) started with the pisco sour, Peru’s national drink made with pisco (it’s an alcohol), lemon, and egg white (for the frothiness).

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I am actually familiar with pisco sours as our friend Ian has a Peruvian aunt and has made pisco sours for us at the cottage before. They are goooood. I really like.

Appetizer-wise I felt sure that I would get the ceviche, a seafood dish popular along the coast of Latin America. It is apparently part of Peru’s national heritage and they even have a holiday dedicated to it. It’s basically chunks of raw fish in citrus. Another well known Peruvian appetizer caught my eye though, anticuchos, or grilled skewers of beef heart. I’m not sure I’ll have the chance to eat that again, so…you only live once.

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I had no idea how I was going to like it, but it was quite good. The texture was slightly different from most beef cuts, but I enjoyed it. Evan did too. We were the only two who would try it, haha. The potatoes it came with were also good.

I tried some of Dawn and Mark’s Papas Rellenas, potato stuffed with meat. The most popular croquettes in Peru!

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Delicious! I loved the addition of cilantro to the dishes. If you you plan to go here and you don’t like cilantro, make sure you request your dish cilantro-free. I loved it though. So fresh.

I also had some of Emily and Corey’s grilled calamari.

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Really good.

I was absolutely in love with my main dish. I got the Lomo Beef Saltado, a traditional Peruvian dish. It’s stir fry beef with onions, green onions, tomatoes, and fries, served with rice. You know I only wanted it because of the fries AND rice (and note the cilantro, though not listed).

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I loved it so, so much. Every bite was heaven. I wanted that dish to go on forever.

Evan ordered the Tacu Tacu, another traditional Peruvian recipe — Biftek served with olive oil creole sauce, with rice and beans.

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Evan is a rice and bean connoisseur and he approved. I do think he had some meal envy about my dish though.

All the salads that came with our meals had oil and vinegar dressing and tasted just like my Nana’s! I loved!

Peru is big on seafood, so Dawn and Mark got a giant seafood platter for two, and Corey got the same, but for one.

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I tried some of this and everything was fresh and tasty (I feel like I say the word ‘delicious’ too much, I need to switch it up).

Emily went with the Parillda de Criolla, grilled short ribs, spanish chorizos, and lamb with salad.

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Hers was really good also. We were all absolutely raving about our experience afterwards. We’re still talking about how good it was. One of the best meals I’ve had since I started eating the world, and that says a lot ’cause there’s been some really great ones!

Shout out to our awesome server, who I think might be the owner as well.

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We love Peru!

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