Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Did I just see a whole stack of Alfrajores *drool drool* They are just what I needed after a grueling week. After so much talk about the infamous Renzo, I was finally able to make it to Renzo's : A Taste of Peru. Lucky for me that they are now open for dinner! As soon as you enter, you are greeted with a friendly smile from Renzo himself.
Renzo's : A Taste of Peru is a little different form your typical Peruvian restaurant. It's made for people on the go. If you don't have time to sit down for a long meal, don't worry because they've got you covered. Not only does he have the popular cafe, he also does private catering where he can really utilize his skills and explore the world of cooking.
Back to those delectable powder sugar covered little pieces of heaven! I bought up the whole lot and even took a commemorative photo to capture the moment. **sweating at the thought of the photo being exposed!** His lovely wife makes all of these wonderful Alfajores. How can you deny the explosion of flavor where melt in your mouth shortbread cookies encase a dollop of dulce de leche? Just typing this makes me want to drive back for more! The best part is the price is very reasonable! They are 75 cents each and I believe 5 for $4.
I start most of my meals with dessert first with a few alfajores to kick off the meal. Next we were given a great bottle of aji verde (spicy green sauce) to give our bread a kick! Renzo was such a gracious host that he gave us a bottle each to take home.
Normally I would go for a rice dish but I couldn't pass up the delicious combo deal. Choose any sandwich, soup or salad, and a drink for only $7.95! My favorite part was that you can opt for Inca Kola. I love drinking Inca Kola, which only motivated me to order more combos so I could take my drink home! Even Ms. Lin asked me about my Inca Kola laying around in the house. In the famous words of Bart Simpson, "Nobody lay a finger on my [Inca Kola]."
The daily soup was a homemade Onion Soup. Renzo was kind enough to substitute out one of my soups/salads for Plantains! I love cooked plantains that have a slight sugary coat on the outside and a little spice to give it a wonderful kick. Always great to nosh on or even eat as a dessert!
I couldn't deny the Sanguche de Pollo with Chicken Breast and Basil Mayo. The chicken is thinly sliced topped with sweet potato, onion salsa, and lettuce. Renzo uses a special bread that has a delectable herb seasoning and a different texture that adds a bite. Work the magic and get some of their garlic aioli to smother on for that extra flavor and kick. Personally I adore garlic and can't get enough of it. Don't forget the chimichurri sauce to add spice.
My favorite of the night was the Sanguche de Chancho with thinly sliced Pork and Garlic Aioli. I was so torn about the basil mayo and garlic aioli that I had to get both sandwiches to satisfy the craving. The pork was very flavorful and moist that it stood out from all the components. To be honest, I didn't know that was sweet potato in there. I really thought the orange colored slices were carrots. Despite the fact that there were healthy components of vegetable inside my sandwich, I still thoroughly enjoyed my Sanguche de Chancho. Bring on the garlic aioli!
Holly got the Aji de Gallina that looked very appetizing. Had I known it was all meat, I'd be all over it too. O=) It's shredded chicken in a medium spicy chili walnut sauce with olive tapenade and hard boiled egg. Definitely something try for next time.
All in all it was a pleasure meeting Renzo and I am sure we will see each other quite often in the future. I can't stay away from those Alfajores! Make sure you come before I do or you will be left in the dust.
Renzo's - A Taste Of Peru
2222 Michelson Drive, #200
Irvine, CA 92612