Five Things: Los Andes, Providence
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
One. Get That Cocktail.
The Pisco Sour is a must have at Los Andes. A creamy mix of Pisco (white brandy) and house sour mix were blended into shaved ice. A little dash of cinnamon helped transform this drink into an aromatic sensation which was enjoyed on the palate and the olfaction. The addition of egg whites helped cut the subtle heat of the dishes I drank it with. A real treat.
Two. Ceviche Say What?
I can say confidently that this is in the running for the best Ceviche I’ve ever had. Fresh-diced tilapia, squid, shrimp and oysters were tossed in a citrus-forward mix with cilantro, pureed garlic and a healthy dose of spicy Rocoto
Three. Peanut Soup.
It’s not what you’re thinking… but it's wonderful. A traditional Bolivian soup with peanut-blended beef broth, potatoes, ziti and beef ribs topped with thin sticks of fried potatoes was surprising and delicious. A fantastic, earthy flavor from the peanuts didn't take center stage but acted instead as a subtle backbone on which to build great flavors. The addition of a little house-made green salsa (mostly pureed peppers) quickly morphed this soup into a dynamic powerhouse of flavor. I will note that the ziti didn't make much sense for me here. It seemed superfluous in an otherwise expert soup.
Four. One of Everything.
For me, Los Andes was all about the grilled meats. I couldn't pick just one, and I was glad I didn’t. I opted for the Parrallada a Los Andes; a tremendous platter of rib-eye, beef short ribs, chicken thighs and pork chops, each seasoned with a spicy and exquisite house blend before being expertly finished on the grill. Each protein was better than the last. Come incredibly hungry or bring a friend. Accompanying this smorgasbord of perfectly charred meats was a side of ‘cheese rice’. Reminiscent of a risotto, this rice dish was creamy and savory with a healthy helping of fresh mozzarella melted throughout the dish. The type of food you just can’t stop eating.
Five. Flan of Legend.
Please… please don’t leave Los Andes without trying the flan. A delicious-super creamy custard was perched on top of a perfect caramel sauce. Slight burnt notes ensured that the sauce wasn’t too sweet but instead did its job in elevating this simple but time-tested regional dessert.
Would I go back? Yes! Los Andes is a real gem and I can’t wait to bring friends to this unique and affordable find.
Hit “Save” Los Andes, 903 Chalkstone Ave, Providence, 649-4911. Mon-Wed 4-11pm, Thurs-Sun 11a-m11pm. Reservations encouraged on weekends.
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