Los Andes Happiness

December 30th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

If you want to banish the blues, go to Los Andes, the bustling, delicious, affordable Peruvian restaurant in Providence. It was there that the F & R clan occupied a table for eight last night. Instant joy. You have to be a pathological depressive not to have a good time at Los Andes. Service is swift, smiling and efficient. Portions are generous. Pisco sours and red wine sangria are state of the art. The meal began with platters of ceviche—fish, shrimp, clams, mussels, squid “cooked” in lime juice, vinegar and assorted apices and peppers. Crisp fried calamari. Then on to wonderful short ribs and a big, mixed grill of chicken, beef and blood sausage. Fried rice laced with pork belly, mushrooms and eggs. Cheesy rice. Russian salad. Sweet potato. Fried yucca. A very distinctive Peruvian treat: Whipped potatoes with a topping of shredded chicken, vegetables, cheese and mayonnaise. Chocolate cake and Tres Lechese cake (with loads of whipped cream) were shared by the table for dessert. Another memorable family outing. Before bedtime, generous Massimo R. poured a glass of fine chilled grappa for HG. Slumber followed.

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Autumn Return To New Mexico

September 25th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Before returning to New Mexico, HG/BSK celebrated Brilliant Granddaughter Arianna R.’s birthday with a gala feast at Los Andes in Providence. This is one of HG’s all time most favorite restaurants (HG acclaimed it in a an earlier post). Once again, Los Andes provided a joyous feast of Peruvian specialties. The evening was made even more special by the presence of Jake, Arianna’s friend. A good looking, charming young man, Jake is studying to be a chef at Johnson & Wales, the renowned culinary school. Hope to taste his cooking on another occasion. Up early in the morning to travel to Boston and fly to Albuquerque. Toby, The Wonder Dog, had to be stuffed in a crate to make the trip in cargo. Looked very forlorn. Breakfasted at Legal Seafood. Excellent crab cake sandwich for HG and splendid chicken sandwich for BSK. Legal always delivers good airport meals (too early in the morning for their outstanding oysters and clams). As you can imagine, Toby leaped out of his crate at the Albuquerque Sunport to greet HG/BSK with happy barks. Picked up the makings for a comfort dinner at Whole Foods. Green Chile Cheeseburgers a la BSK: Pan broiled burgers topped with aged English cheddar and smothered in 505 Green Chile Sauce. Served on toasted onion brioche buns. The magical burgers were accompanied by bowls of cannelini beans topped with chopped sweet onions and 505 Green Chile salsa. A bottle of pinot noir. The ardors of travel were soon forgotten.

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A Wistful Farewell to PEI

September 20th, 2015 § 4 comments § permalink

All good things (and, thankfully, bad things) must come to an end. And, so HG/BSK and Toby, The Wonder Dog, are wistful as they say farewell to Prince Edward Island. A saving grace as HG/BSK and Toby motor to Riverside, R.I., is that Toby will have a chance to romp with Pip, the Riva family’s talented dog. And, HG/BSK will join in a birthday party for Brilliant Granddaughter Arianna. The site will be Los Andes, a great Peruvian restaurant (HG has praised it in a recent post). Looking forward to New Mexico and the colorful turning leaves of autumn; swims in HG/BSK’s heated indoor pool; seeing the fish gambol in the Koi pond; watching light flicker and change across the Barrancas (colorful cliffs and mesas). Much of New Mexico’s air will be scented by roasting chilies and BSK will make good use of them in flavorful dinners as piƱon logs blaze in the fireplace. These last days on PEI have been busy with a variety of household chores, packing, etc. HG said goodbye to Gladys and Sheryll, the gracious ladies of By the Bay Fish Mart, who keep HG/BSK supplied with good things from the sea throughout the PEI summer. HG/BSK ate a big platter of By the Bay’s Malpeque oysters. (These will be much missed. Both for their taste and modest price.) Had a very good (and very big) piece of fried haddock and crisp fried onions at Rick’s Fish and Chips in St. Peters. HG had been concerned that Rick’s might be going downhill but it seems to have recovered its mojo. HG will miss PEI seafood but will be consoled by menudo and a host of other Northern New Mexico treats. Tonight, HG/BSK will dine at the delightful 21 Breakwater Restaurant in Souris. In the meantime, off to the Land of the Brave, Free and Trump (plus many other Republican dimwits and lunatics).

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Los Andes: A Great Restaurant

June 26th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Pete Wells, the New York Times restaurant critic, recently rewarded Blanca, an edgy restaurant in Brooklyn’s gritty Bushwick neighborhood, three stars. At Blanca, customers sit at a counter and are served slivers of “inventive” food for $195 a person. No wine on its list sells for less than $80. According to HG’s figuring, this means a check for about $800 (or more) for dinner for two (food, wine, tax, tip). According to comments by Wells’s readers, you’ll still be hungry after dinner and in the mood for pizza or a burger. The direct opposite of Blanca is Los Andes in Providence, a restaurant much loved by HG and family. HG/BSK, Gifted Daughter Lesley R. and Brilliant Granddaughter Arianna R. dined there while visiting Rhode Island. As always, it was jammed with happy people of every ethnicity and color. Music from a Peruvian band. Los Andes is truly joyous. Once you enter, any vestige of gloom or depression disappears. HG sipped a favorite cocktail: Pisco Sour. Perfect, not too sweet sangria was poured. HG/BSK and their two companions shared some super generous portions of fresh and flavorful Latin-American and Peruvian food. A ceviche platter of tilapia, onions and herbs. A ceviche cocktail (served in an oversized Martini glass) of shrimp, squid, tilapia, mussels, etc. (HG would be happy to spend an evening sipping Pisco Sours and devouring these lush ceviche “cocktails”). Unusual Peruvian whipped potatoes with shredded chicken. A two-inch thick grilled swordfish steak. Rib eye steak (rare) from the Argentine barbecue “parilla.” Flan and an unusual meringue for dessert. Check the Los Andes website for full descriptions of these dishes and scores more. Prices are very reasonable, $30 to $40 per person (with wine). You will leave Los Andes very happy and very full. Service is efficient and pleasant. Los Andes is a professional operation, delivering excellent food with consistency. Deservedly popular, reservations are a must. Worth a special trip to Providence.

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Holiday Feasting (Day Twelve)

January 6th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Los Andes is a Peruvian restaurant in Providence. One of HG’s all time favorites. It’s a big restaurant, jam-packed with an astonishingly diverse crowd of diners, all having an uproarious good time. This was the restaurant chosen for Profesore Massimo R.’s birthday dinner and HG/BSK and the Riva family were in high spirits. A big pitcher of very good sangria appeared. But, before sampling, HG and Massimo R. downed some beautifully made (and lethal) Pisco Sours. So good that HG had two. The Pisco Sour (Pisco Brandy, sugar, lime and whipped egg white) is HG’s favorite cocktail. The only other place in North America where you can get an authentic Pisco Sour is San Francisco. Peruvian sailors introduced it to San Francisco during the Gold Rush days. (San Francisco is also the city where you can taste another South American treat, the Ramos Gin Fizz. The venerable Tadich Grill makes it a specialty). The HG/BSK/R group started their meal with two ceviches: Ceviche Clasico (lime juice marinated clams, Prince Edward Island mussels, squid, shrimp and tilapia. Flavored with pureed garlic, and fiery leche de tigre). Ceviche de Pescano: (tilapia marinated in lime juice and cilantro and served with sliced red onion and strips of arugula in a leche de tigre sauce). There were three salads: Causa Limena (whipped potatoes and avocado topped with shredded chicken); a traditional Peruvian salad of sliced hard-boiled eggs adorning slices of purple potatoes; salad a la russe (the Russian salad of cooked vegetables in mayonnaise). Main dishes were powerfully robust and flavorful: Parillada Antica (a huge platter of grilled rib steak; homemade chorizo, marinated chicken thighs and fried yucca); Fricase (pork rib stew in a winy, dark sauce served with rice mixed with melted cheese). Wonderful tastes. A meal fit for a holiday and a birthday celebration.

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