Posted on January 22, 2013 by Admin of TBJ
In the residential district of San Juan, right off the main drag of Avenue de Ponce de Leon, is a wonderful Puerto Rica-Peruvian fusion restaurant called “Lima” that you simply must try. This particular area of town is hopping on the weekends but quiet on the weekdays, and Lima is so popular that they have valet parking on the weekends. The menu isn’t too terribly pricey, considering the awesomeness of the food you get. The have good drinks (the bartenders down the block at Bistro 160 pour a better drink) that indulge in twists of Puerto Rican rum with Peruvian elements, like a deep purple sangria. They have a wide variety of ceviches, from straight white fish to shrimp to octopus to a mix, and all of them are delicious. They make friend plantains properly and they local pork and chicken dishes are great, and the plating of even the simplest salad is fun. Grab a spot on the patio, knock back a Medalla, and enjoy your time in one of the lesser-tourist-trod restaurants in the San Juan area of Puerto Rico.
Filed under: Caribbean Islands, Great Eats, Latin America | Tagged: Bistro 160, Caribbean Islands, Central America, ceviche, fresh ceviche, fresh fish, fresh seafood, fusion, good eat, great eat, Latin America, Lima, Lima Restaurant, Medalla, Medalla beer, Miramar area of Puerto Rico, mixed drinks, octopus, outdoor seating, plantains, plating, pork, Puerto Rican Peruvian fusion food, Puerto Rico, pulpo, restaurants in Miramar, rum drinks, salad, San Juan, sangria, shrimp, valet parking, white fish | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 15, 2013 by Admin of TBJ
The El Yunque Rainforest is a can’t miss for anyone going to the San Juan area of Puerto Rico – even if you had a long layover (the International airport is pretty small and somewhat efficient – remember to run your bags through the USDA scanner before entering security!). I was fortunate to spend a day there, and it’s unbeatable. This is the United States’ only national park that has a tropical rainforest (yes, there are cloud forests in the Pacific Northwest!), and it is achingly beautiful. If you book through a touring outfit (driving in Puerto Rico is not for the faint of heart), you might want to check through TripAdvisor.com to see which one suits your needs. I had a great guide who showed our little group different plants and explained the history of the park – I won’t spoil it for you, but all the Tanio stuff in Old San Juan will suddenly make sense to you, if you catch my drift. He also pulled off the road and let us eat at a little tamale stand, which served cold beer, great local grub – lots of beans and pulled pork – and some fabulous awesome hot local tamales. Climbing atop a tower (built by Mennonites!), you can see out over the cloud forest, and the views – even in the rain – are extraordinary. We also did a little trekking through the park (there are various trails that range from easy to hard to short to long – there’s a map where you park) to get to La Mina Falls, which you can get into and which I highly recommend doing. The micro and macro ecosystems are a wonder to behold, and the quiet, lush green forest – think towering trees, old growth, wild birds, and its chirping coquí frogs. Camping is an option (you just have to pay a small park entry fee)! – check it out and take in some nature and history while is fabulous Puerto Rico!
Filed under: Caribbean Islands, Latin America | Tagged: airport in San Juan, beans, camping, Caribbean Islands, cloud forest, Coquí, ecosystems, El Yunque, El Yunque National Forest, hiking in El Yunque, La Coca Falls, La Mina Falls, Latin America, old growth, Puerto Rican history, Puerto Rico, pulled pork, rainforest, San Juan, tamales, Tanio, tours of El Yunque Rainforest, tower, tropical rainforest, USDA luggage check San Juan, wild birds, wildflowers | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 20, 2012 by Admin of TBJ
Happy Thanksgiving to our United States readers from TravelByJury.com! Check out all of our great eats as you gear up to gobble ’til you wobble! We’re thankful for you – so keep the reviews coming!
the Cart, Hanoi, Vietnam
Gracie’s, Salt Lake City, Utah
Linger Lodge, Bradenton, Florida
The Wine Shop, Charlotte, North Carolina
Harvest, Louisville, Kentucky
Bison Witches Bar & Deli, Tempe, Arizona
Pachapapa, Cusco, Peru
Ladles, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
Loose Meat Sandwiches in Sioux City, Iowa
Granja Heidi, Cusco, Peru
Jack’s Cafe, Cusco, Peru
Caffe Pomodoro, Panama City, Panama
Desserts of Louisville, Kentucky
Gilpin’s Sandwiches, Cincinnati, Ohio
Cafe Campanilla, Madrid, Spain
Dickadee’s Deli, Charlotte, North Carolina
La Bombeta, Barcelona, Spain
Medjool, San Francisco, California
De’Coltelli, Pisa, Italy
Kashmir, Louisville, Kentucky
Barley’s Taproom, Asheville, North Carolina
Maggie Jones; London, England
The General Greene & Cake Man Raven; Brooklyn, New York, USA
La Paella De La Reina; Madrid, Spain
Brasserie Esemeralla; Paris, France
Black Bear Bakery; St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Murphy’s Ice Cream; Dingle, Ireland
Ristorante Zeppelin; Orvieto, Italy
Uto Klum; Üetliberg, Switzerland
Seviche, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Unnammed; Le Peninsula de Azuero, Panama
Three Carrots Pub; Belgrade, Serbia
White Horse Tavern; New York City, New York, USA
The Duke of York; London, England
Filed under: Asia, Eastern Europe, Europe, Great Eats, Latin America, North America, Site News, South America | Tagged: Arizona, California, Charlotte, England, Europe, France, good eats, great eat, great eats, Iowa, Ireland, Italy, Kentucky, Panama, Peru, Serbia, South Carolina, Spain, Switzerland, United States, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 14, 2012 by Admin of TBJ
This Valentine’s Day, I think I would like to send a token of love to Cusco, Peru. As my introduction to South America and my first time below the Equator, Cusco couldn’t have been a more happening, thriving, vibrant place to be. Sure, the altitude hit me as soon as I got off the plane (another person collapsed immediately), but the sheer beauty of Cusco – a city tucked in a valley in the Andes – kept the woes of altitude at bay. I would write, in my love letter to Cusco, of how much I loved her streets, which radiate from the hub of the Plaza de Armas into labyrinths that leads her visitors to Inca walls, colonial Spanish architecture, and people hustling and bustling near small squares (do check out Plaza de San Francisco) and churches. The San Blas neighborhood is wonderful, and home of many of the Good Eats set in Cusco on this site. Museo del Sitio del Qoricancha (the textiles and weaving museum) is worth a visit, though buying textiles here will require more than a budget traveler’s souvenir fund. Cusco is full of hustlers – if you take a picture of someone, they might ask you for money, kids will try to sell you everything from sunglasses to finger puppets, and the “Inca Warriror” by the 12-pointed stone will warn you against touching the stone – but don’t let it wear on you. Save your energy for climbing the hilly streets of Cusco to poke around in its markets and shops, and don’t miss Sacsayhuamán and nearby Q’enqo, even if you’re pressed for time (you can walk there, it’s not bad). Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Cusco – your people, beauty, architecture, food, and history charmed my traveler’s heart and I can’t wait to visit you again!
Filed under: Latin America, South America | Tagged: Andes, art, colonial Spanish architecture, Great Eats Cusco, Inca walls, Inca Warrior, Latin America, market, markets, Museo del Sitio del Qoricancha, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de San Francisco, Qenqo, Sacsayhuamán, shops, South America, street hustlers | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 6, 2011 by Admin of TBJ
On the northern side of Plaza de Armas in the middle of Cuzco, Peru, LIMO offers a variety of modern dishes featuring traditional and local ingredients. I sampled a wonderful ceviche before enjoying an entree of grilled alpaca skewers with polenta. The sweet potato with the ceviche was incredible. Very very tasty. My companions both had delicious dishes as well, including a night-specialty orzo.
The restaurant also features a variety of cocktails, including several Pisco-based drinks. The drinks are an experience in themselves, flavorful and yet still with a bit of kick to them. The waiter spoke fluent English and was able to guide us through each course. The balcony view over the Plaza was nice too. The cost was higher than many other restaurants in Cuzco, but the atmosphere and knowledgable staff made up for that — and it still wasn’t break-the-bank expensive.
Filed under: Great Eats, Latin America, South America | Tagged: alpaca skewers, balcony over Plaza de Armas, ceviche, cocktails, Cusco, English-speaking staff, great eats, juror #14, Juror Review, Latin America, LIMO Cocina Peruana & Pisco Bar, liquor, mixed drinks, orzo, Peru, pisco, Plaza de Armas, polenta, South America, sweet potato | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 15, 2011 by Admin of TBJ
Ah, the Pachapapa. Directly across the street from Templo de San Blas in Cusco, Peru, is a lovely little restaurant that cannot be missed. This delicious place, the Pacapapa has everything; they have regional dishes, like alpaca and cuy (that elusive guina pig) and have some of the best ceviche in town (served with the obligatory sweet potato that makes Peruvian ceviche so yummy). They also have oven-fired pizza, with a thin crunchy crust and lovely homemade sauce. They also offer clay pot stews and stir-frys, and the mixed drinks are supposed to be sensational; I didn’t have one but the Cuzquena beer was very cold:) There is indoor and outdoor seating, and even on a cool day you can have a filling and lovely lunch while listening to a local harpist or similar musician, as they tend to enjoy playing to the crowds at the Pachapapa. You need to check this place out as you roam through the streets of Cusco, Peru – you won’t be disappointed.
Filed under: Great Eats, Latin America, South America | Tagged: alpaca, ceviche, clay pot stew, Cusco, Cuzquena beer, great eat, live music, mixed drinks, outdoor seating, pachapapa, Peru, pizza, San Blas, sweet potato, Templo de San Blas | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 27, 2011 by Admin of TBJ
How do you end up in Aguas Calientes, Peru? You’ve either come there to spend the night so that you can visit Machu Picchu, which is only a 15 minute switch-back ride up the mountain on the west side of the city, or perhaps you’ve just trekked the Inca Trail and are looking for a cold beer to celebrate – either way (and there are several other reasons to come to this little town), Aguas Calientes retains a homey-yet-transient feel. Prices are steep here – food, drink, and hotel – and tourists willingly pay them as they stroll through the city’s largely pedestrianized streets, buying various souvenirs or tucking in at the city’s varied restaurants, which have a little something for everyone. There are only two ATMs in the city, and it’s a 50-50 chance that they might work, so bring cash, especially if you’re coming from Cusco. Glug down over-priced bottles of Cuzquena beer as you roam from groovy little eateries to tourist traps, but even a Coke will be of a higher cost then elsewhere in the Andes. Check out “El Mapi,” a bizarre and beautiful little spot for a good breakfast buffet or a super-swanky downstairs bar designed to look like a library. You can hike to the Thermal Baths (go in the morning before all the Inca Trail porters have, um, “used” them – it’s not unhygienic but these guys are sore and in need of rest and peace!), hike all the way to Ollaytaytambo (stay off the tracks!), or chance the view from Putukusi, a nearby peak that affords some decent views of Machu Picchu. Check out the massive market or stare down at the Urumbamba River as you roam around this ramshackle little town; stay out late enough and you can see how the town gets their goods AND disposes of their trash – hint: watch the train tracks in the town center. Large Inca statues and beautiful little plazas make Aguas Calientes, aside from their happy hour beer mark-up, a great spot to visit.
Filed under: Latin America, South America | Tagged: Aguas Calientes, ATMS, beer, Cuzquena beer, El Mapi Restaurant, foods, happy hour mark up, Inca statues, Machu Picchu, market, Peru, plazas, Putukusi, shops, South America, souveniers, thermal baths, train tracks | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 6, 2011 by Admin of TBJ
One of the most soothing places to go in Cusco is the Granja Heidi, a popular restaurant in the San Blas neighborhood of Cusco, Peru. If you picked up a travel guide about Cusco or hunted around online for good eats there, you probably saw a good write-up for the Granja Heidi: believe it. “Heidi’s Farm” (translation) boasts beautiful meals whose ingredients come fresh from the owner’s farm, so items like the “Rise, Lazarus!” leek soup (with carrots, celery, and other aromatics) will hit the spot and make you feel pretty darn good after you’ve been working your digestive system in the high Andean altitude. Check out their home-made granola that is simply the best bran I’ve ever had (mixed in a fruit salad, mm!) Try one of the restaurant’s various teas (soothing, warm, and utterly fantastic) or one of their made-to-order crepes, the latter of which meets an interesting/amusing Spanish-English translation on the menu. If you’re a breakfast-for-dinner person, Granja Heidi is the spot for you. Nothing on their menu is bad, and the place gets pretty packed as the prime dinner hours draw near, though you can call ahead and reserve a table and the owners will happily oblige. Granja Heidi is located to the left of Cuesta San Blas (the street that nearly runs into the front of Templo de San Blas) if you’re going up; they don’t take credit cards, but they might change some of your larger denomination soles for you – nice, nice people, and if you’re looking for fellow European travelers, check here, as we saw plenty of them in the cheery and tasty Granja Heidi.
Filed under: Great Eats, Latin America, South America | Tagged: carrots, celery, crêpes, Cuesta San Blas, Cusco, Europeans, farm fed, fresh fruit, fresh ingredients, fresh meat, fruit salad, Granja Heidi, granola, great eat, Heidi's Farm, Latin America, Leek, no credit cards, oats, organic food, Peru, Rise Lazarus, San Blas, South America, teas, Templo de San Blas, vegetables | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 23, 2011 by Admin of TBJ
About two blocks north of Plaza de Armas in Cuzco, Peru is one of the best breakfast spots I’ve ever eaten at: Jack’s Cafe. The food is so fresh, everything is homemade, and the fresh fruit smoothies are great for getting a nice dose of morning energy and for aiding any lasting effects from the high altitude. Everything on the menu seems good – we had six meals there (some ingredients: avocado, bruschetta, eggs and omelets, panini sandwiches, etc.) and were never disappointed – and the servers are friendly and mostly bilingual. A good first meal when you get into town, if you can get in the door during peak hours.
Filed under: Great Eats, Latin America, South America | Tagged: altitude sickness, bilingual staff, breakfast, busy, Cusco, eggs, fresh fruit, fresh ingredients, fruit smoothies, great eat, Jack's Cafe, juror #14, Latin America, lunch, panini, Peru, South America, Spanish omelet | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 9, 2011 by Admin of TBJ
Restaurants under hotels can definitely be hit or miss, but as you dart off of the busy Avenida de Espana onto Avenida Eusebio A Morales, you’ll be confronted with what looks like an old hidden wine bar stuck under the modern, white-stucco’d Hotel Las Vegas in Panama City, Panama. You’re half right – Caffe Pomodoro is a fabulous Italian restaurant, with oven-fired pizzas accompanying a great selection of Latin American wines, or heaping dishes of risotto and whole-wheat pastas drenched in delicious cheesy sauces. Convenient to a main drag of restaurants catering to every taste – you can get Moroccan and Indian and even Burger King further down the road – the Caffe Pomodoro is a find. Every side salad comes with fresh strawberries and mouth-puckering onions, and the beer list (they do have Budweiser – hard to find in Panama – but ask twice and they’ll get it; you must be persistent!) is quite tempting as well. The wine bar’s atmosphere is similar to that of an odd Italian mob movie, but the restaurant’s outdoor terrace is awesome at night, where the breezes of the city are amplified by twinkling lights in the indoor palm trees and cande-lit tables, where a final glass of wine or a sampling of the restaurant’s excellent tres leches can be the beginning or the end of a night on one of Central America’s most quietly groovy great eats.
Filed under: Central America, Great Eats, Latin America | Tagged: beer list, Budweiser, Caffe Pomodoro, Central America, cheese, fresh ingredients, great eat, Hotel Las Vegas, Italian food, Latin America, Latin American wines, onions, Panama, Panama City, pasta, pizza, salad, strawberries, tres leches, wine list | 1 Comment »