An eating tour through Trujillo

By Renzo Guerrero de Luna 
El Comercio

An eating tour through Trujillo, PeruDoña Panchita is visited even by the President for her famous deep fried pork. For over 30 years, this fine lady, mother of 10 children, prepares what for many is the best breakfast in Trujillo: a portion of pork cooked in a pot served with yucca, salad, coffee and two loaves of bread. On a good day she sells about 150 kilos, say one of her daughters and one of her daughters-in-law. “We are one big happy family united in this business thanks to these wonderful hands (Doña Panchita’s),” they say as they proudly show pictures of the authorities who visit them regularly. Most of them belong to the APRA party, they admit without hiding their sympathy with the party of the red star, although they make it clear that all are treated equally. With the same love.

Just like this place, located in block 5 of Spain Avenue, others have become a reference point for those who know good food. One of them is undoubtedly the Salon de Te Buenos Aires. Dozens of people enter and exit this place on block 3 of Jiron Pizarro (half a block from the Plaza de Armas in Trujillo) with a smile that says it all. Their sandwiches are delicious, especially the turkey sandwich. Unbeatable. Doña Carmen Maeshiro runs this place that has existed for 67 years. It is almost an institution. When asked about the secret sauce that accompanies the turkey, this lady gracefully changes the subject. Her workers do not know. At first glance, it contains Chinese onion. Other than that, we can say very little but enjoy very much.

An eating tour through Trujillo, PeruDelicious Noon
For breakfast, these two locations, plus others like El Rosado, San Agustin, D’Marco and Asturias, in the Historic Center of Trujillo, are the most prominent. For lunch, the offer is multiplied and many cooks come out to fight for their customers with spoons in hand. Doña Peta earned a name for the delicious duck that they prepare. This is a true stew dish that is well-served – as one deserves – and accompanied by rice, cassava and beans. Due to that quality, they now have three locations (the two main ones on Daniel Alcides Carrion Avenue and another one right at the exit used when heading north) that do not close any day of the week, to avoid neglecting its most loyal guests.

Another place that managed (in its 12 years of existence) a place on the agenda of the people in Trujillo is Danielita. Cebiches like the ones served there, always guarded by a good portion of beans, are not found in any restaurant. It is also the winner in terms of requirements that demand those with big bellies: good, pretty, cheap and in great amounts. It’s outrageous to leave Danielita, located in block 8 of the Husares de Junin street, without trying its steamed fish with a northern flavor or the choritos a la chalaca in a sauce similar to Huancaina. 

An eating tour through Trujillo, PeruVery close to Danielita, on the second block of the Cienfuegos Street, is Squalos. This restaurant, which counts with the experience of two restaurants owned by the same family which are Rincon Romano and Rincon Romano Criollo, is the most demanded of the city. Its dishes are, regarding presentation and taste, a delight. Elena is the one that manages the place; she is the conductor. She moves from side to side, making the entry and exit of the waiters more smooth. Succulent tiraditos, cebiches, picantes and the two dishes that are their trademark: a tacu tacu with beef a lo Squalos and "Huando" goat (boneless) served with yucca, rice and salsa criolla appear from the kitchen. Incredible.

These are some recommendations for a weekend, but if you come for more days and have time you can escape to Huanchaco or Moche and taste the food that these places have to offer. In the center you could also visit Mochica, Rustica, Mar Picante, Paisa, La Sirenita, Pollos Bolivar, La Toscana and Mollejitas de San Andres. These are several places that will surely be cause for another hearty walk.

Translated from Spanish by Diana Schwalb