Cheap Eats: Mi Peru
Where: Mi Peru, 1760 Miami Gardens Drive, Aventura, (305) 940 9404.
What $15 Gets You: A big plate of chaufa with meat and a drink.
For those who lump Latin cuisine into a category consisting of rice, beans and some sort of meat, Mi Peru in Aventura is one hell of a surprise. The first thing you’ll notice as you browse the menu at the restaurant is the strong Japanese influence over a lot of their rice dishes. Chaufa is essentially fried rice with meat.
The price of the food really pushes the $15 budget, so I ordered the chaufa with meat. From the menu pictures posted above the order counter, I figured that the dish would be decently sized, but that was quite the understatement.
As they brought over a chaufa with shrimp, which I didn’t order, I got a glance at just how big the servings were. When they did get my order right, I could’ve sworn that the size of the serving doubled (perhaps they felt bad for the whole shrimp thing). In any case, this is the first time that I haven’t been able to finish a meal and just for that Mi Peru deserves some accolades, but the rice was prepared well.
The fried rice was … well fried rice. It was neither burnt nor undercooked - it was well seasoned and there was a good proportion of rice, veggies and eggs (trust me I’ve had fried rice in which the ingredients are so disproportioned that I could have sworn I was eating an omelet with grains of rice in it). But the real delicacy was the meat, which was tender and seasoned in a way that it didn’t overpower the taste of the rice.
My friend ordered the sautéed spaghetti with shrimp. Her portion was equally big, but I can say by the look on her face that if I were reviewing the spaghetti it would not be so favorable a review.
She finished the rice that I couldn’t and we both left the restaurant sleepy and quite satisfied.
Final Verdict: I would recommend Mi Peru for anyone willing to try Peruvian cuisine and especially recommend it to those people that think of only a pan con bistec when someone mentions Latin cuisine. My only word of caution is to stay away from the sautéed spaghetti in any of its many incarnations. -- Elvis Ramirez