With movie award season in full swing, I’ve decided to join the fun and create a blog award for the best meal consumed in the last calendar year. To be honest, there are two places that I consider as best from last year, but pictures for one of the places just came out beautifully. So, for the reason of food pr0n, the winner for best restaurant in a leading role goes to the Peruvian restaurant Andina in Portland.
The meal started with some tapas, the first being the tres salsas con pan which are three salsas made from jalapenos, passionfruit, and peanut and a potato-quinoa bread. A nice start, I was hoping that the jalapenos would have a little kick after it was referred to as spicy, but it was unfortunately pretty tame. Thinking about it, spice tolerance in the city may not be the highest as I was underwhelmed by something deemed “spicy” on more than one occasion.
The next tapa was a pair of carne empanadas. The slow-cooked beef, raisins, egg, and olives inside were very moist and flavorful, the savory going with a touch of sweet. The salsa criolla provided a nice acidic contrast.
The last of the tapas was the best of them all. The anticuchos de pulpo is a grilled octopus served over caper mashed potatoes with a chimichurri sauce. The octopus was moist, not overly seasoned and perfectly cooked from end to end with a good char. The textures and flavors of the peppers, potatoes, and sauce combined and contrasted perfectly making the dish a true winner. I could probably eat a couple plates of these all by myself.
Finished the meal with the entree seco de res. A slow cooked short rib cooked in a cilantro and beer sauce, with stewed frijoles, garlic rice and a little more of their salsa criolla. The servers were wonderful, the food came quickly and altogether it was an award-winning meal. It will definitely be a place to go back to the next time I hit Portland.