How Does Andina Compare With Real Peruvian Food In Peru?

Andina is one of the best restaurants in Portland. It serves “Novoperuvian” food in Portland’s Pearl District, which is way of saying “trendy” Peruvian food.

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The restaurant definitely has an upscale environment.  The white table clothes with its large windows throughout the restaurant gives it a new look during lunch.  I can understand why its one of Portland’s favorite restaurants in the lively Pearl District.  The Pearl District reminds me of San Diego‘s Gaslamp district.  The atmosphere combined with the large choice of traditional Peruvian and tapas makes it a wining combination for locals.  It does have a postcard in the mail look to it.

I arrived to a completely packed house during lunch.  There wasn’t a seat available; luckily, I had reservations.  The hostess escorted me to my table, which had a view of the restaurant.  The restaurant’s large windows provided entertainment as I watch Portland’s skies change its demeanor.  The crowd was filled with families celebrating Father’s Day weekend.  Mimosa, wine, and cocktails were regularly transported to the tables.

Peruvian food is one of my favorites in the world.  It’s only outdone by Vietnamese, Japanese, and Spanish cuisines.  I always had a fondness towards Peruvian food when I became a self-labeled foodie.  The fondness grew into love when I visited Lima, Cusco, and Aguas Calientes.  After Peru, Peruvian food landed in my top 5 favorite foods in the world.  To be fair, it’s really hard to duplicate the authentic flavors of a country’s food due to the ingredients used in the dishes.

I ordered an Inka Cola as I looked through the menu.  The menu contained a number of tapas along with a few recognizable dishes like Lomo Saltado, Ceviche, and Aji de Gallina.  I wanted to try each item on the menu.  However, I relented and decided with the following items:

  • De Pollo – These were lightly marinated chicken kebobs.  It was served with a spicy salsa de rocoto; however, the spicy part was only flavoring as it didn’t overpower the kebobs.  The white meat chicken was lightly glazed with the marination, but it was slightly dry even though it was tasty.

    Andina Peruvian Portland Oregon
    De Pollo
  • Yuca Fritas – The large yuca portions accompanied with salsa verde.  The starchy rich food had a really nice texture.  It came out piping hot and the salsa verde gave it a vibrant taste.  I had to stop myself from eating it all because I still had the Aji de Gallina coming out.

    Andina Peruvian Portland Oregon
    Yuca Fritas
  • Aji De Gallina – The colorful plate came with generous portions.  The perfectly cooked garlic rice next to the creamy ají amarillo-peanut sauce had my appetite going again.  It was served with Yukon Gold potatoes, Botija olives and a hard-boiled egg.   The creamy aji amarillo sauce was tasty but I didn’t enjoy the pulled chicken’s texture.  It tasted overcooked and dry.

    Andina Peruvian Portland Oregon
    Aji De Gallina

Overall, Andina is a good restaurant.  It’s a solid offering in a city not known for its culinary achievements.  I wouldn’t label it as the best Peruvian restaurant I’ve had in the States nor would I say its close to the Peruvian food I had in Peru.  However, with Portland’s limited restaurants, Andina does fall into the “best” class for the city.

Check out our review of Ataula and Beast.  Need things to do and see while in Portland?  Check out our other list here and here.

  • 7/10
    Service - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Presentation - 7/10
  • 6.5/10
    Flavors - 6.5/10
  • 7/10
    Decor - 7/10
  • 7.5/10
    Ambiance - 7.5/10
7/10

Summary

Andina is one of the best restaurants in Portland. It serves “Novoperuvian” food in Portland’s Pearl District, which is way of saying “trendy” Peruvian food. It’s a solid offering in a city not known for its culinary achievements.  I wouldn’t label it as the best Peruvian restaurant I’ve had in the States nor would I say its close to the Peruvian food I had in Peru.

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