on April 27, 2005
The first order of business that everyone should do when visiting Peru is to sit down at a restaurant and order one of their most prized foods: guinea pig. Forget all of your worries about eating a family pet or anything like that. Guinea pig tastes just fine, like chicken, actually.
A place that specializes in guinea pig, among other Peruvian foods such as suckling pig, is Paititi. Located along the Plaza de Armas, Paititi is a very clean and beautiful restaurant. Some of the walls are real Inca walls and used to be part of an old Inca palace that once existed at the Plaza de Armas. One noticeable drawback, if it happens to be filled with patrons, is that the tables and chairs are very close together. On my visit, however, I was the only one in the place, so I was quite comfortable.
The menu prices are very affordable. Guinea pig costs 24 soles (approximately $8), and soda is 4 soles (approximately $1.35). All other menu items are approximately the same price, and a dinner for two will cost approximately 70 soles (approximately $24).
On my visit, the guinea pig I ate tasted fine. I had never had guinea pig before, so I could not tell you if it was good or bad, but it tasted fine and I ate the whole thing. I washed it down with some Inca Kola of course.
The wait staff at Paititi is excellent. Unlike many of the places I ate at in Cusco, the staff here was comprised of all men who looked to be in their 40s. After sitting down, they immediately bring you some garlic bread, followed by a small glass of warm, foamy Peruvian beer free of charge. Not a fan of strange, warm beers, I just looked at my beer and smelled it. The food was cooked and brought to my table slightly quicker than expected, though that may have been because I was the only one in the restaurant.
For traditional Peruvian food at very reasonable prices, I recommend Paititi to anyone. But don't go in if you're not going to eat guinea pig.
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