Our Peru adventure seems like a liftime away even though its only been just over a month. To aid in not forgetting so fast I decided to marinate some beef heart, for this weekend, and post this Labor Day appropriate excerpt from our Peruvian gastro-voyage. If you are in any part of Peru close to a major city the name Gastón Acurio is very well known. If you’re in any of the major cities or tourist hubs its likely one of his many restaurants is within taxi distance, if not closer. On our first day in Peru we met up with our new friend, and editor of the popular Peruvian magazine Cosas, Raul and he raved about Gaston’s burgers. “Papachos!” he emphatically repeated, “It’s amaaaaaaazing.” More on Raul a few posts from now but his words, although met with skepticism from both Tony and I, stuck with us.
It wasn’t until Cusco that we had the moment to consider Raul’s challenge…uhh excuse me…suggestion. Still recovering from the arduous trip out to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu, we stood in Cuscos central square and looked up at Papacho’s balcony. A single, rusted metal letter P teased us to climb up and taste as the remaining sun ducked behind Cuscos 12,000 foot peaks. We accepted and 30 minutes later found ourselves pinned to the mat struggling to free ourselves from the huge taste of these delicious burgers sleeper hold. All things considered, they rival any American burger we’ve had. You may find this hard to believe but here’s 5 reasons why.
1. The bun is perfect. A slightly crispy outside, nice shine, a few seeds. Soft, fresh and airy inside. Perfect for burger juice absorption.
2. The portion is Texan size. Gaston does not fool around with dishing out the lbs.
3. The options run from the standard American (pictured above) to Peruvian slanted to local Cusco special editions.
4. The fries. 4000 varieties in Peru. Enough said.
5. This is the clincher. An all veal burger patty. It has to be at least a 1/2 pound of sweet meat. This detail is the move that makes it such a huge contender to its American counterparts.
It’s ridiculous to go to Peru for a burger but if you find yourself in Lima or Cusco do yourself a solid and give it a taste. You can have ceviche in a few hours or anticuchos as an afternoon snack. This burger is so good that it’s a not-to-be-missed on an eaters top 10 Peru list. I never thought we’d be advocating such a farce but this burger is anything but.
Portal de Belén 115
Plaza de Armas-Cusco