Tuesday, February 26, 2008

BFRLC Lunch #4 – The Search for Ucumar

Ucumar, the Andean Bigfoot, probably has a more refined palate compared to most of the world’s other Bigfoot. The foods of South America can be a complex combination of meats, vegetables and spices. Regional cuisine stems from what is abundant in a particular area, it can also be influenced by those who have passed by or brought flavors from a different land. From the Malbec wines and beef of Argentina, to the aji amarillo peppers and potatoes of Peru, or the sugar cane and nuts of Brazil, South American food is truly something to try before leaving this planet.

The BFRLC Lunch #4 took place on Monday, February 25th. For this meal, the members gathered together and headed over to one of the many lunch carts that Portland has to offer. Chozas Peruvian Taste at the intersection of SW 9th and Alder features Peruvian food made while you wait. The dishes that this cart has to offer explore the cuisine of Lima as it has been influenced by Asian culinary practices. The stand out for most members was a vegetarian version of Lomo Saltado – typically a dish made with beef, vegetables, French fries, and rice. The lunch cart version of this dish was pretty good for the cost, it was juicy, spiced right, and very flavorful. The portion was perfect, and Choza himself served us with a smile. On the downside, canned mushrooms were used. We thought this was alright for a lunch cart, but we would have been disappointed if sitting down to a meal in a nicer restaurant. One member simply did not want to eat them based on the fact that fungi are not of this earth. Can’t argue with that.

Water refill rates were not taken as this was not a sit down meal. Sadly, Choza was out of Inca Kola – the Golden Cola. This refreshing and uplifting beverage is a delicious addition to any Peruvian meal. It was missed, but hopefully Choza will be restocked next time we stop by.

Hey, while on the subject of Peruvians – check out www.pranallama.com this is a wonderful massage therapist in Portland, Oregon of Peruvian descent. We highly recommend her!

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