Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Peru's New With You - An Impromptu Blog Meet

Every year or so I end up in the Southwest on business of the conference or speaking engagement variety.  I've had the good fortune on previous trips of getting a rental car to make an additional trek so I could get together with Lawdog and Phlegmfatale, Holly and JPG and Lucrative Pain and other folks in near or neighboring states.  It had been a while since I'd been out this way, a couple of years even, where I had any free time to myself.  This time also had enough time to make a side trip where I got the chance to meet a couple of bloggers, husband and wife, the female half of the family, one that I  chit chat with all the time and am proud to have as a friend, as she's seen me through some "hair on fire" stressful times as well as some joy.

Gee, who could that be?

Tall (well, with the gorgeous , very tall high heels), beautiful, curly Brunette hair.  Any idea?  Oh, the great shoes should give it away if you have seen her blog header.  (Post knee blow out, I'm pretty much stuck in boots or flats that look like something Mickey Mouse would wear)..

And look!  It's Happy Hour.
After a long drive it was an early evening out with Jennifer and her handsome  husband  EvylRobot as well as their son  (and no, everyone was driving so there was no alcohol, but oh, was there some good food).

 Zarates Restaurant up in Edmonds, Oklahoma.(http://www.zarateslatingrill.com/). Yes that's right,Oklahoma, where there is the best Latin American food I've personally seen outside of Latin America.

The food was terrific, the restaurant worth the very long drive, the food both Latin, Caribbean and Tex Mex.  The owner is from Peru and although the restaurant started out Tex Mex quite a few years ago, he started adding dishes of his native country, with other Latin and Caribbean dishes added as well.  It  was so popular, they are now part of the regular menu, and a very popular part.   The food from that region was seriously authentic and looked so good, which probably explained that at 6:00 on a Tuesday, there wasn't a single parking spot in the large lot and people were waiting for tables (though not too long, the service being very good).
Jennifer had Lomo Saltado, steak sauteed over an open flame with tomatoes, onions, potatoes, cilantro, ali pepper and red wine, served with cilantro sauce, rice, yucca and sweet plantains.

This was Caribbean Grilled Tilapia with Mango Salsa.
Cerviche Mixto Peruano.  White fish, shrimp and calamari with red onions and red bell peppers, milk, and rocoto pepper, cured in lime juice and served cold with steamed yucca and white Andean corn.   There's a bit of a wait while it's prepared and cured and almost had me drooling (and I'm not a seafood or fish person at all).
I was ever so boring and ordered the taco platter (tacos are one of my favorite things) and they were wonderful with rice and beans so much better than the minute rice with spice and bean flavored gruel you find at too many "Yankee" Mexican restaurants.  With wonderfully seasoned meat and the freshest of veggies, along with the great beans and rice, I slicked the platter clean.
Next time though, I will be a little more adventuresome, as the other specialties looked incredible.

We were there a while, catching up, talking about stuff we don't talk about on the Internet, flashing our knives to see who was carrying WHAT (Look, I can have a white handled blade, it's not Labor Day yet) and trading puns.  Plus I was thoroughly charmed by a scary smart, witty 15 year old that any parent would be proud to have as a kid.

I am so glad I made the long trip before I caught a flight out to other, less exotic destinations.  For I confirmed  what I always knew, that these folks are my tribe, and I'm glad to know them.
 - Brigid