This blog is dedicated to all the gorditos, chubbies, huskies, bears, afrentados and foodies that love to eat delicious food and can't wait to hear where they should go next to get their grub on! I'm going to give you the 411 on all the places I love to frequent and all the places I seek out, like the culinary explorer that I am. I'm going to be real and tell what I feel and think. Bring on the comments and most importantly bring on the FOOD!
Have you ever ordered a Pisco
(Pees-koh) Sour? Do you enjoy ceviche (Seh-vee-cheh)? Does the word Jalea
(Ha-ley-ah) make your mouth water? If you have no idea what I am talking
about, then its time you went to Harlem to visit Warique Peruvian Kitchen.
Warique is a small restaurant with ten dark wooden tables;
beautiful paintings; an exposed brick wall to the right; and a small bar in the
back. Cozy and comfortable, Warique is perfect for a romantic date or an after
work meal with friends.
Warique’s wait staff is wonderful. My server was friendly,
warm, and attentive.I noticed the
other servers were warm and mindful with their customers as well.
Warique has a diverse clientele; it’s both a neighborhood
eatery as well as a destination restaurant.The night I visited, I sat between an older Latina lesbian couple and a
young Latino with a group of his friends.Occasionally, the couple would feed each other forkfuls of food and
kiss; while the Latino guy raved about his recent honeymoon cruise to South
Surrounded by romance and jubilation, I decided to treat
myself to one of my favorite appetizers: a Causa Peruana con Pollo.A causa is a cold mashed potato ball filled
with avocado, crunchy peppers, cilantro, aji amarillo (South
American hot yellow chile pepper), and chicken or tuna.Warique features other appetizers such as:
Papas a la Huancaina (Yellow potatoes served with a spicy cream sauce);
Anticuchos (skewered veal hearts); and Choros a la Chalaca (Peruvian style
mussels marinated in lemon juice).
Warique’s causas are wonderful!The potatoes were soft and chilled to
perfection.The shredded roasted chicken
breast was moist and flavorful. The cilantro, peppers, and avocado added
sweetness and crispiness to the dish.
As I ate my causa, the young Latino talked incessantly
about his cruise to South America with his partner Paul.They loved Peru and its food. A mutual
friend of theirs recommended Warique for good Peruvian food in New York
City.Enthusiastically, the young
Latino ordered Pisco Sours for everyone at his table.
A Pisco Sour is a delicious South American cocktail
prepared with Peruvian Pisco (a grape brandy), lime or lemon juice, syrup, ice,
egg whites, and Angostura bitters.At
the time, it had been quite a while since I had ordered a Pisco Sour and
decided to follow suit. Unlike other Pisco Sours, Warique’s cocktails are
lightly dusted with cinnamon, which adds a spicy taste to the usual sweet and
sour flavors.Usually, I don’t enjoy
alcoholic beverages with my meals, but the Pisco Sour and causa combination was
As I looked over the entrees, I overheard the Latinas
talking about their Ceviches; a popular seafood dish in South America,
typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in lemon or lime juices and spiced
with chili peppers or ají.
One of them ordered El Ceviche de Camaron (Shrimp) and the
other El Ceviche de Pescado (Sliced raw fish).They loved their dishes and compared them to other ceviches they had
eaten in Peru.It was adorable to watch
them reminiscing about how they met in Peru, fell in love, and moved to New
York City to go to school.I couldn’t
help eavesdropping on their romantic and inspiring story.It was so beautiful to see how their romance
had stood up against the test of time.
Tempted by the ceviche, I continued to review the menu,
which features: Sopas (Soups), Pollo a la Brasa (Blackened Chicken), Ceviches,
Ensaladas (Salads), Pescados y Mariscos (Fish and Seafood), Platos de Fondo
(Typical Plates).For more information
on the menu go to:
I was ready to order a ceviche until the word Jalea caught
my eye.A Jalea is a seafood dish
composed of lightly battered fried fish or assorted seafood; Peruvian corn;
fried potatoes or yucca; and is garnished with red onions, tomatoes, and
cilantro.The Puerto Rican in me
couldn’t pass up the chance to eat a plate of fried delicacies, so I ordered
the Jalea with a small side order of white rice and beans.
My eyes nearly popped out of my skull when my server
brought me my entrée. The plate was overflowing with fried shrimp, fish, clams,
and calamari.The seafood was
wonderful; it was crispy on the outside, moist on the inside and the lime juice
drizzled on top gave the dish the perfect hint of acid.The sweetness of the tomatoes and corn
complemented the savory flavor of the red onions and cilantro.The fried yucca fries were good, but a few
of the strips were overdone and dried out.The rice and beans were mediocre; the beans were bland and needed salt.
After such a sumptuous meal, I decided to skip
dessert.Warique’s dessert menu is
simple: Assorted ice creams; Picarones (a fried doughnut made from squash or
sweet potatoes); and slices of Lucuma (a unique Peruvian fruit that tastes like
caramel custard and has a pasty texture).
My visit to Warique was wonderful!The food is delicious and the portions are
generous.Also, it was inspiring to sit
between an older queer couple and a newly wed beginning his life with his
partner.It reminded me of how lucky I
am to have found my BearBear David.I
hope one day we’ll be newly weds and then an older couple sharing a meal at
Warique.Unfortunately, he hates
seafood and would probably dump me the minute I took him there.I guess we’ll be the lovey-dovey couple at
his favorite restaurant: McDonald’s.Ugh!
Pray for me.
Do yourselves a favor folks, head to Harlem and get
yourself a Jalea!Go taste for
yourself! ¡Buen provecho!