Laura Leff, TheCostaRicaNews.com

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu. Photo: Thiago Moreira

One of my life dreams is to visit all of the wonders of the world before my time expires on this earth. Quite possibly, the most famous, exquisite and oldest wonders of the world, built around 1450, Machu Picchu, sits at the top of my bucket list. The Incas were masterminds – so creative, brilliant and way ahead of their time to build such a masterpiece of a city.

Not only does Peru have this marvel, but it also has, in my opinion, some of the best food in the world. O.k. folks, keep in mind that I’m a foodie, so excuse my comparison of Machu Picchu with Peruvian food, but seriously, Peruvian food is so divine! I’m always on the lookout for new restaurants, especially international cuisine, since the Central Valley of Costa Rica doesn’t offer up a ton of international food options. For this reason, I was so happy to stumble upon a new Peruvian restaurant, in Pozos, named Casa Peru. What a little gem!

peruvian ceviche
Peruvian ceviche. Photo: Hector de Pereda

Peruvian cuisine is strongly influenced by the abundance of sea creatures in the Pacific Ocean, which borders the west side of the country. One of the most popular Peruvian dishes, ceviche, is an excellent example of the beautiful seafood offered by the salty, ocean waters. Ceviche, is of course, all about the seafood, but the balance of the remaining ingredients – lime juice, red onion, camote, corn and seasonings is just as important to get the taste just right. I’ve been lucky enough to sample quite a few Peruvian ceviches in my day, so I was delighted with how delicious, tender and balanced Casa Peru’s ceviche was. Between the mussels, calamari, octopus, tilapia, clams and scallops mixed in with the sweetness of the corn and camote and the tanginess of the lime, red onion and seasonings, I was in heaven.

I was in a beautiful state of satisfaction at that point, but I was still eager to try more. Next, I tried the Mariscos Verde con arroz (Green Seafood Rice). This was a beautifully presented dish full of mixed seafood and rice, which was cooked with a fresh cilantro sauce that was brimming with flavor. I followed that dish with another famous Peruvian dish, Lomo Saltado. This is an amazing dish for beef-lovers – soft, delicious beef-tenderloin cut into strips and sautéed with garlic, onions, tomatoes and Peruvian chili peppers served on a bed of rice with a side of fries. The meat is so flavorful and tender and the hot peppers with the tomatoes and onions are a sensational combination. It surely hits the spot!

Casa Peru is located 175 meters North of the Catholic church in Pozos and they are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12pm-8pm; Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm-10pm; and Sundays from 12pm-4pm. They run a great lunch special every day (except Mondays) from 12pm-3pm for 4,950 colones, it includes an appetizer, main meal, beverage and dessert.

Buen provecho!

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