Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

URUBMABA, 8620 37th Avenue (between 86th and 87th Street), Jackson Heights, Queens

The first time I had Peruvian food was at a now-closed restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen and I was shocked to taste a stir fry of beef, soy sauce, and french fries that reminded me more of Chinese-American food than Latin American. That dish was the popular lomo saltado and is a perfect example of Peru’s culinary diversity. In one cuisine, you can try the flavors of the Incas, the Japanese, the Africans, the Chinese, and the Spanish.

At Urubamba, an old standy in Jackson Heights, I decided to order only dishes that I never tasted before to expand my Peruvian palette and discover what other unexpected flavors might be lurking within the food.

So I ended up with a plate of grilled beef hearts (anticuchos), a  play on ceviche with slices of trout in a wonderful yellow aji amarillo sauce (tiradito), and a warming, spice-filled purple corn juice drink with pineapple (chicha morada).

Tallarin Verde at URUBAMBA

I also discovered a little taste of Italy among all the ecelectic influences. Tallarin verde is a spaghetti dish mixed with a rich green sauce that is not unlike pesto. The thick sauce is made with basil, garlic, spinach, and cheese. It was full of so much flavor and richness that I had to restrain myself from leaping up and shouting “Mama Mia!”

I ordered it solo, but it could come accompanied with breaded steak, chicken, or fried fish.┬áMy portion still had two fried slices of Peru’s most famous contribution to the culinary world, potatoes. While the pasta might be influenced by Italy, the carb on carb accent is most certainly Peruvian.

URUBAMBA
86-20 37th Avenue (at 87th Street),
Jackson Heights, Queens

(718) 672-2224
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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