El Chullo Restaurant
2605 N 7th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85006
Organized by: Bill and Sarah
Tonight the Double Ds went south of the equator and traveled to Peru. Well at least in the culinary sense. This family-run restaurant in Phoenix is named after the traditional hat worn in Peru. The website describes it an accessory that was “worn by the Incas to differentiate villages, wealth, social status, and even age.”
Beverages are a tasty way to start the dinner and we didn’t hold back. Pisco Sour is a traditional Peruvian drink with Pisco Porton, lime, simple syrup, egg whites, and bitters. It is a sweet cocktail but tastes like key lime pie. Yummy! I had the passion fruit puree version called a Maracuya Sour. It was tasty and topped with possibly nutmeg for a surprising flavor. Don had the Cocktail de Algorrobina
We started our food adventure with some appetizers like the Causa Rellena, a potato cake with a chicken salad type of filling; Papa a la Huancaina, bolied and diced potatoes covered in cheese and Aji Amarillo sauce; Ocopa, a slighty spicier version of the Papa dish plus huacatay peanuts; and Anticuchos, marinated grilled beef heart kabobs served with a spicy salsa and potatoes. The group was divided on the beef hearts, although it was like sliced tenderloin some didn’t like the texture but many others loved the flavor and tenderness of the dish. The last appetizer was the Ceviche Mixto, with fish and seafood, sweet potatoes, and corn. We have some big ceviche fans in the DDs and they gave it a big thumbs up. Even with the split on the beef hearts all of the apps were a hit!
Jay and Ann reminisched about some of their adventures last year in Peru and Jay was excited to get to enjoy a Diet Inca cola again. This Peruvian soda tastes like a Mountain Dew cream soda. I am not a cream soda fan, but it was really good.
Entrees were a glorious mixture of meats, rice, potatoes, with explosions of tasty flavors. Lomo Saltado is a dish with marinated strips of tenderloin served over thick french fries and roasted tomatoes and onions. Tacu Tacu is a dish so divine they had to name it twice. You take a mash of beans and rice and cook it into a patty and then top it with scrumptious topping of tender beef or seafood, onions, and tomatoes.
As most nights, there was no room for dessert but we couldn’t leave without trying some of the Peruvian sweets. There was Crema Volteada, a creamy Peruvian cousin to flan. There was also the Alfajor, a dulce de leche cookie covered in sugar. Lastly, we tried Helado de Lucuma, a creamy ice cream with a slight coffee aftertaste and made with the Lucuma fruit. According to our server, this fruit is only grown in Peru, “I don’t care what Ecuador says!” 🙂
Dinner was delicious and it was super fun to explore a cuisine that many of us had never tried before. We all agreed that this place is a MUST to repeat. Clearly we weren’t the only fans of El Chullo, New Times was in love as well, just check out this New Times article.
Until next time – Hasta la próxima!