I’m all about the lunch special. In this ever-inflating Buenos Aires restaurant world we live in, there’s nothing quite like a great deal for lunch. Contigo Peru has been a longasstime favorite, offering a killer weekday deal that will entice the cheapest of Peruvian eaters. Main dish, drink and dessert for just $35 pesos*, that’s what I call a lunch fit for an executive.Contigo Peru will always hold a special place in my black heart. Back in my early BA days Contigo Peru was the only restaurant to serve food that was remotely spicy. It was also a dirty cheap option with 8 peso Quilmes litros and could easily accommodate a huge gang of irritating study abroad Yanks. The ideal spot. Even though nowadays there are a plethora of quality Peruvian restaurants, Contigo Peru still offers a lunch special that’s hard to beat.
It’s not polite to ignore a solid bread basket. Soft, fresh-baked bread served with two spicy Peruvian ají-huancaina-like salsas. Quite dangerous and might have been consumed in a matter of minutes while my eating partner was in the bathroom.The lunch special includes a number of classic Peruvian favorites, but I always will go with either ají de gallina, grilled chicken or grilled fish. There’s something about ají de gallina that’s hard to stop eating once you take a bite, despite the gruelly texture and fluorescent yellow coloring that sometimes shines brighter than Inca Kola, the nectar of the Andean gods. My next gallina challenge: ají de gallina empanadas.I can’t go to a Peruvian restaurant and not order ceviche, even if it’s not on special. Fresh, citrusy, no fishy taste – just how I like it. It also came with those sweet potatoes that are orange and actually sweet (where do these come from and how do I get them?) and my fave conchacanchita snacks. Satisfaction, oh yeah.
Usually it’s an easy pass on Peruvian desserts, suspiro de limeña is like a cavity waiting to happen. But, dessert came with the special, so it’s almost rude not to order it. The eating partner wanted to order flan. I’ve never understood why people like flan, seems like a waste of an order. It’s jiggly, it’s creamy, it’s sweet… well maybe that’s why people like it. But it never did it for me.
Echeverría 1627, Belgrano
Hours: Monday – Saturday 12pm – 4pm, 8pm – 12am
Average price: 35 lunch special, 65 dinner* Note prices are based on Dec 2012