23 May 2013
El Amigo ~ Peruvian - Forest Lodge
Along Ross Street in Forest Lodge are a few cafes and eateries that mostly cater for the quick burger crowd or the die hard Doy Tao Thai fans. There's been a few changes recently, Saigon Lemongrass has closed and Saigon Princess has started serving a lunch menu. There also appears to be some burgeoning cool cafes. In the line up is also El Amigo, the Peruvian restaurant and takeaway serving traditional South American dishes (and a cheeky burger too).
The decor inside is cafe cute with checked tablecloths or coverings of Peruvian style tablecloths. The menu is laid out on the boards behind the counter but there's also a colour menu with descriptions of most of the dishes.
Sopa Mixto Con Carne - soup mix with beef and vegetables with sour dough $9 (from the daily specials board). Look out for the board, they change the specials often so you may not always find this dish on the day.
Tamales - $8. Choose pork or chicken. Steamed cornmeal with meat inside.
Papa Rellena - Filled potato croquettes served with a little side salad and a ring of rice. $10 for a small.
The fillings inside are classic empanada, a little mince, chopped egg, sultanas and olives and a lot of flavour.
Cau Cau $10. Beef tripe stewed with potatoes, peas and herbs. There's a lot done in Peruvian food with the beef bits no one else wants to eat. A not so spicy dish without a lot of need for chewing.
Higado Encebollada $12.90. Beef liver schnitzel with sautéed tomatoes and onions, fries and a little ring of rice. The beef liver is soft and not too strong a flavour, but the breadcrumb coating on the outside is full of flavour and really makes this dish. My mother used to cook tomatoes and onions like this when we had steaks or most likely, chops, so they bring back a nice home cooked memory.
Beef Empanada - $4.50 - a thin crisp short pastry filled with diced beef, egg and onions. A tasty entree, snack or small lunch, these guys aren't big but they are savoury and satisfying. They sell out fast, so grab them when you see them. Served with a lemon wedge.
El Amigo Hamburger $6. Sometimes you just want something plain and simple, and this really hits that spot. Classic burger with a little salad and beetroot. No sweet fancy buns here. There is a selection of quick eats like steak sandwiches, chicken and mayo sambos and chips. Somedays there is a Peruvian style roast chicken served by quarter, half or whole served with fries.
Inca Cola, a caffeine full golden beverage which tastes a lot more like Mountain Dew than Coke.
Tres leche or three milk cake with a drizzle of cream on top. A sweet ending for lunch never fails to please. There are different cakes each day, we've spied custard flan, banana and chocolate cakes on different visits.
Since we first ate here the cafe has had a make over. New counters, tablecloths and different seating and you can see a little into the kitchen out back. It's homely and comforting. Well, it is your place after all.
Say '¡hola' at 35E Ross St, Forest Lodge. Closed Saturday and Tuesday.