The food here is delicious and dirt cheap. Now that I am settled in and know how to look for restaurants, I very rarely pay more than $4-$5 for a good meal served over rice with an appetizer, a beverage, and sometimes even a dessert. You can find this kind of food at so-called ‘menú places’.
If these three things are true, you have probably found a menú place:
1. There is no front door, or front wall, on the restaurant.
2. Ironically, there are no menus within site. Usually there will be a chalkboard.
3. The name of the restaurant is not immediately obvious.
Usually I get soup or potato salad for an appetizer and fish for the main course – it tastes fresh and is cooked well, but is otherwise fairly simple – and smother it with Ají sauce, made from a local pepper that is like ketchup here, only spicier and way, way better.
It’s almost as though all of the menú places operate as a chain. They all cost between 12-15 soles ($4-$5), they are all reliably quite good and have very similar food and atmosphere.