Cost: 9.50 soles (menu economico)
Where: Berlin (cuadra 2) and Libertad
I head from the coast back up through Miraflores, past colourful houses protected with rolls of barbed wire and thorny gates, to calle Berlin. A few blocks from the park, beyond the restaurants and bars where the waiters accost you on the street, there’s a small alcove of four or five restaurants. They are all thin and spill out onto the street with pleasing little setups of tables and chairs. Here I find, for the first time in Miraflores, a ‘menu economico’ – a full meal in Miraflores on the cheap! I rejoice silently and sit down at the high square wooden tables.
The starter is Ocopa Arequipeña, which involves cold sliced and boiled potatoes in a greenish cheesy peanutty sauce. A hard-boiled egg sits on top. This is followed by a soup with rice, celery, carrot shavings and suspicious shreds of meat. Despite the relative diversity of its ingredients it contrives to taste exactly like every other soup in Peru and Bolivia. Finally the main course: Cabrito. I assumed, quite reasonably, that this was kid (as in young goat) since ‘cabrito’ means ‘little goat’. But the waitress assured me it was alpaca, which made me view the plate in an entirely new, exotic light. The meat was dense but tender, a little like lamb, and came with rice, red onions, a leaf of lettuce and light skin-coloured frijoles that tasted a bit like baked beans.