I was chilling in the movie theatre on Valentine’s Day with Teresa and The Big Short was about to start. For some strange reason, a chilling thought entered my mind: I finished writing about Peru some months ago, but I think I completely missed out on covering an evening spent in Lima’s Miraflores region. I was tempted to whip out my phone and start scrolling through The Traveling Space Opera to make sure, but I stopped myself, realizing it wouldn’t make a difference at this point in time. I needed to look into it later. Indeed, I messed up: I totally forgot to cover that evening, which wasn’t overly extensive, but bright and vibrant in my memory nonetheless. Most importantly, it was a really fun night and different from anything we’d experienced in Lima as we’d kept most of our exploration to the colonial corridors of the city, near 1900 Backpackers Hostel, San Francisco cathedral, and everywhere in between. It’s time to give that lost day in Lima its due credence.
We got dressed up nicer than we ever did on these backpacking trips and hopped into a cab near our guesthouse. It was only about a fifteen minute drive before we emerged into madness. Miraflores is packed with travellers and locals alike, thousands upon thousands of people. When we’d heard and read about Miraflores, we essentially heard of the touristic side of things so it’s not a place we would tend to want to spend a whole lot of time. It’s really fun once or twice though and it’s difficult not to absorb the energy of the crowds which is overall positive.
The lights are vibrant in Miraflores and the atmosphere is undoubtedly lively. We saw more American restaurants here than anywhere else we’d visited in Peru. Hotels and casinos line a few main streets as well, adding to the neon vibrancy of things. This is evidently the most modern part of the country, where “all of the action is” as it were. We also noticed a sharp increase in the price of items that we’d been purchasing in the colonial district, as well. Our favourite Magnum Bars tripled in price!
We had a restaurant in mind that we’d looked up earlier and heard was one of the best in Lima. It’s called Panchita, and after getting lost several times in our search for it and constantly asking strangers for directions, we finally turned down the right street and entered.
The layout inside is wide and open and the staff were all very welcoming. We got a seat in a room towards the rear, slightly elevated from the main area so we could see the entire restaurant from where we were sitting. The menu had a number of delicious-looking options…lots and lots of meat.
For an appetizer we got two different kinds of sausages. I can’t remember the name of the first one, but it was more of a “standard” kind of spiced sausage, something many of us would be more used to in terms of taste and texture. The second one was a blood sausage. The taste was far more unique, in my opinion, and something that took a little getting used to. It was very gamey and I had to take small bites to really enjoy it. When we saw it on the menu, though, we had to get it for its uniqueness. For our mains, Teresa got a pork chop dish with a roasted apple and I got a stew with mashed potatoes. The food was delicious and the portion sizes were massive; we were both stuffed by the end of the meal.
We sipped on our glasses of wine for a bit before heading out to explore Miraflores a little more. Eventually, we hopped into a cab and headed back to the colonial district, to 1900 Backpackers Hostel. It’s surreal that I’m still covering this trip because I thought I’d wrapped it up months ago. When I realized I had missed out, I knew I had to sit down and give the experience some literary love. To Peru’s final days!