Karencita de Perú

Dinner at Tony Roma’s – La Cena en Tony Roma’s

Posted on: May 24, 2010

It was 4 weeks ago on Friday that I arrived in Lima.  It is hard to believe a whole month has already gone by.  I wanted to celebrate my first month here with a little taste of home, so I convinced Luis that we should go to Tony Roma’s.   He had never been as it isn’t really a place that a lot of  Peruvians would normally go.  It is located in Larcomar, the touristy mall in Miraflores, and I think it attracts more tourists than locals, although there were a fair number of Peruvians dining there the night we went.  The decor is comparable to what we used to have in Vancouver and Coquitlam and to other Tony Roma’s I have been to in other cities.  The menu is similar with a bit of a Peruvian twist.

We started with a couple of drinks to toast our first month together.  We ordered a  Hurricane and a Bahama Mama – pretty standard drinks that you can find in almost any bar.  The drink menu is very extensive with all kinds of martinis and daiquiris that looked very tempting.

As an appetizer, we shared the Roma’s Sampler.  It came with Tony Roma’s famous onion loaf, buffalo wings and spinach artichoke dip.  The buffalo wings were nice and hot and easy to eat as they were boneless.  Luis, however, was not a big fan as he doesn’t eat food that is really spicy and the buffalo wings were a bit much for him.  The onion loaf was just like at home – greasy, but very tasty and served with Tony Roma’s tangy BBQ sauce.  The spinach artichoke dips was awesome and it was Luis’s favorite of the three items.  I am going to try to make it at home one day!

For our main course, we shared the St. Louis Sampler which comes with 4 portions of ribs cooked in different Tony Roma’s sauces.  The ribs are served with either baked potato or mashed potato and your choice of one side.   Some of the sides were the same as what you would find in North America but there were other options that I had never seen before, such as choclo dulce (sweet corn) and papa al horno con tocino y cebollines (baked potatoes with bacon and chives).  We had a traditional baked potato and salad.  The baked potato came with a lot of butter but only a dash of sour cream and nothing  else.  Sour cream is not very popular here.  I finally found it in the supermarket to serve with the fajitas I made at home one night for dinner.  The ribs were good and tasted the same as those that I have enjoyed in the past.

Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Tony Roma’s but I don’t think we will be returning anytime soon.  I could see that Luis wasn’t overly impressed, although he said he liked it.   By Peruvian standards, the food is quite expensive and I don’t think he is accustomed to the  type and variety of sauces.  The funny thing is that I find that Peruvian food is generally served with a lot of sauces so it was interesting that this was his impression of North American food.  I guess we are both used to eating certain types of foods, but part of the fun is learning a different way to eat and a new perspective on how to prepare and enjoy food.  We are both very open to trying new things and so far we have had a good balance of introducing each other to the types of food we are each used to eating.  I think we have both found some new things that we really like… and some others that we can live without!

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