Peru: Lunch at Juanito’s in Cuzco

August 17th, 2011
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Wow, what a week it’s been since I posted from the airport in Lima at 4am. We’ve bounced around Peru and there will be more reports soon, I promise. For regular updates, follow my digital Tumblr blog, where I’ve been posting photos like mad.
Once we got to Cuzco and settled in, it was time to look for some real food. We huffed and puffed through the 11,000+ foot altitude and tracked down a sandwich shop called Juanito’s, which was highly recommended and just a couple blocks from where we were staying.


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When we got to Juanito’s we were starving and didn’t spend a lot of time examining the menu. I’m still not 100% sure what I got, but I saw the words, lechon and chicharrones and said, ‘that one.’ I’m pretty sure we got the two Cusqueño sandwiches, which, at 12 soles each total out to US$8.75.
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While we waited for them to serve up the porky goodness, Tammi and I headed to the seating area in the back. There was a table full of backpackers on one side, lounging and chatting in Spanish, occasionally singing along with the 80′s tunes that were playing on the speakers.
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Anxious to get a better look at the food, I wandered about sticking my camera wherever I could. The guy at the griddle didn’t seem to mind and I watched as he tossed bread and meats and whatever else on.
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I had already hoped for some pretty good food, but I have to say that my expectations shot up when I saw the amazing rolls they used. Crusty on the outside, but just looking at them, you know the interior was perfectly soft.
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I looked around some more and caught the display of a dozen or more condiments available from bolognese sauce to chimmichurri.
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Next to the condiments was this slab of roasted meat which I never did identify. I mentioned I was hungry, right?
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On the wall, I saw this special available, “The Hamburger of the Gods.” My rough translation: Lettuce, Tomatoes, double hamburger of pure beef on the grill, barbecue sauce, fried onions and crowned with double cheese and served with a glass passionfruit juice or chicha morada, a purple corn drink I have yet to try. All for 17 soles or $6.20.
At this point, I was ready to gnaw my arm off. Thankfully, it was just about ready.
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He asked what I wanted on it, I restrained myself from answering “my face” and asked what he recommended. He dabbed on a black olive sauce and a little aioli. Tammi had chimmichurri on hers and we were ready to eat.
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My sandwich had two types of pork lining the bottom half of the roll topped with the standard veg and then two cylinders of a sort of cakey corn things that filled much of the space. As hungry as we were, the mass of the corn and the tastiness of the pork and the crustiness of the bread were exactly and entirely what we needed.
Juanito’s, Qanchipato 596, San Blas, Cuzco.

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