Once again, my family followed me in blind faith to another restaurant in Cusco that had good celiac reviews. We were debating two restaurants- Marcelo Batata and Nuna Raymi. We reached Nuna Raymi first as it is just a couple of minutes outside of the Plaza de Armas. When I saw the menu outside the restaurant was labeled “Libre de gluten” next to multiple menu items, we headed up inside.
There is an initial charm to this restaurant as you walk through a small greenhouse pathway filled with flowers to arrive at your table.
Once inside, we sat down next to two other groups. One was from Intrepid Travel and one from G Adventures, so we knew that at least those companies trusted the food from this restaurant as well. (Not from a celiac perspective, but remember there’s lots of dietary precautions that come along with traveling to a new country where you aren’t exposed to the same bacteria back home.)
I handed my waiter my celiac/allergy card and Spanish. He went back to grab someone that was more knowledgeable on the menu, and they recommended the Lomo Saltado without the soy sauce. Even though this item wasn’t labeled gluten free on the menu, I knew that it would be without the soy sauce and from the description of the preparation, I trusted this item had a decreased chance of cross contact with gluten. Plus, it sounded delicious as well. Lomo Saltado consists of big, juicy chunks of beef stir fried with red onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, chives, and peppers heavily flambéed with Pisco. Served with native French fries and rice.
And if was just as flavorful as I was anticipating. My sister ordered the same meal, but with chicken instead of beef and with the soy sauce since she doesn’t have celiac disease. Seeing the soy sauce on her meal increased my confidence that my meal had been modified appropriately,
While potatoes and rice seem like an odd combo, it’s common in Peru. It’s also great for anyone with celiac disease because wheat is a smaller portion of their diet, so it’s easier to avoid. While here I also had the potatoes covered in spices that were brought out as an appetizer and a dessert. The potatoes were flavorful, and this is what the restaurant naturally serves when a typical American restaurant would bring out bread.
Similar to the previous night at PER.UK, I tried another gluten free and vegan chocolate mousse. This one was made with bananas and pumpkin. There is no added sugar, so it mainly tasted like bananas with a hint of chocolate. I liked it, but it definitely wasn’t the traditional chocolate mousse.
Overall, I’d recommend Nuna Raymi to another celiac. I felt fine after my meal, and the meals were hearty and well prepared.
As always, happy Wanderlust Wednesday!