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Papacho’s: A burger lover’s paradise

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I had heard all the hype about Papacho’s. I heard about the long lines. I had heard about the delicious hamburgers, and I knew there had to be one waiting for me with my name on it. My search for an excellent hamburger ended the first time I dined in Papacho’s back in May.

I have eaten several times at Papacho’s in the past six months and never been disappointed. I have arrived early (around 12:30) each time. By 1:30 practically every table has been occupied and diners are experiencing a major hamburger buzz. Evenings at Papacho’s are much busier than during the day. Since Papacho’s has a “no-reservations” policy, you need to plan accordingly. Papacho’s has gained a huge following in the year they have been open and continue to ride the surging popularity wave.

The decor at Papacho’s has an appealing mix of modern and natural elements. The color of purple is predominant in much of the modern and comfortable furniture, as well as wood and stone accents and exposed brick walls. Various plants and greenery are displayed in planters throughout. There is also a view of the small garden terrarium area outside.

We began our Papacho’s experience with limonada _hierbabuena_, a delicious limeade concoction infused with the Peruvian mint. The addition of the mint elevated this beverage to another level. The selection of six different unsweetened fruit-infused iced teas was quite refreshing and one of the better iced teas I have enjoyed in Peru.

Everyone comes for the burgers, but we were truly impressed by the variety and flavor of the five different starters that we were served first. All of the starters are generous in size and are worthy of sharing. Their stuffed mushroom appetizer named “champs” (32 soles) and Papacho’s version of chicken wings, “winners” (34 soles), with more of an Asian flair were table pleasers.

Their version of nachos, called _bravos_(32 soles), was a welcome and healthier version of the typical nachos you might find in the U.S. The large bowl filled with crispy corn chips and topped with a generous amount of grilled chicken slices, _queso fresco_ cheese, black beans, guacamole and sour cream was surprisingly light. If you are expecting this dish to arrive smothered in melted cheese, these nachos are not for you.

My personal favorite of the appetizers was a dish called _chinitos_ (29 soles). These six spring rolls were filled with a ground beef mixture and then rolled inside of the accompanied fresh lettuce and mint leaves and dipped into the slightly piquant, slightly sweet asian-flavored sauce. The combination of saltiness from the ground beef, crunchiness from the lettuce, slight minty, aromatic flavor of the hierbabuena leaves and slight sweetness from the sauce made this one of the table favorites.

The vegetarian at our table was quite delighted when the vegetable platter appetizer called “peace and love” (27 soles) arrived at our table. The bountiful assortment and vibrant colors of cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes, celery, cucumber and zucchini was very appealing. Five unique house-made creamy dipping sauces accompanied this platter. The _huacatay_ sauce was the hands-down favorite dipping sauce.

What everyone comes to Papacho’s for are their hamburgers. We sampled 5 of the 21 burgers on their menu. Both the carnivores and the vegetarians at our table were not disappointed. All burgers come with lettuce and tomato, unless you specify without.

The “miss mundo burger” (29 soles), was comprised of lentils and quinoa and topped off with mango chutney, lima bean spread, yogurt sauce and alfalfa sprouts. This was my personal favorite vegetarian burger. The “mister locro” burger (29 soles) was a flavorful combination of Peruvian pumpkin squash (locro) topped off with with cheese, a fried egg, huacatay sauce and _criollo de rabinitos_ (thinly sliced radishes with onion, peppers and lime juice). This was a very moist burger. Papacho’s currently offers five different vegetarian burger options.

The “papacha burger” (36 soles) is one of the top selling, popular burgers at Papacho’s and rightly so. I have enjoyed this burger a couple of times. The blue cheese and onion ring combination are perfect together, as well as the bacon and _sauco_ ketchup. If you are not a fan of blue cheese, it’s better to order a different burger.

The “pepper burger” (36 soles) was a wonderful combination of cheddar cheese and a pepper sauce consisting of a beef stock/mushroom/crushed peppercorn gravy and topped off with crunchy shoestring potatoes.

The “anticuchera burger” (38 soles) was a bit on the rich side and was topped off with _anticucho_ sauce (combination of _aji panca_ paste, red wine vinegar, cumin, garlic and oil), sauteed potato slices, _criolla de choclo_ (corn mixture), a generous dollop of their incredible creamy _huacatay_ sauce and thinly sliced red onions.

Burgers at Papcho’s are available in the regular 230 gram version and now a 300 gram version is being offered for the clasica, anticuchera and the miraflorina burgers. Flavors and ingredients from the various regions of Peru are represented in the burger menu selection. The ground beef that is used at Papacho’s is national veal from Peru. You have a choice of either french fries, baked potato, basic salad, sweet potato fries or onion rings that are included with any burger.

I highly recommend the excellent thick, crunchy onion rings. All of the burgers are served on a sesame seed bun which is sufficient, but could definitely be approved upon. A selection of five house-made condiments are served with the burgers.

If you dare have room for desserts, Papacho’s offers some incredibly satisfying sundaes. The day we visted we sampled both the “sublime sundae” (23 soles) and the “_cherimoyo_sundae” (24 soles). We polished these off without a problem.

The burgers alone will keep compelling me to travel the long distance from my home in La Punta, Callao to Miraflores. Dining at Papacho’s is a burger indulgence and so much more.

*Papacho’s*

*Where:*
Av. La Paz 1045, Miraflores

*Opening times:*
Monday thru Saturday: 12 noon to 12 midnight
Sunday: 12 noon to 10:00 p.m.

*Reservations:*
253-6460

Limited parking
Valet parking available

For more information, visit their “facebook page”:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Papachos/216923391768321.

Appetizers/Starters: S./24-34
Salads: S./19-31
Sandwiches: S./25-29
Club Sandwiches: S./29-38
Main Dishes: S./29-49
Hamburgers: S./28-39
Desserts: S./16-23
Sundaes: S./21-24
Non-alcoholic Beverages: S./6-19
Beers: S./9-18
Wines by the Glass: S./16-22
Wines by the Bottle: S./69-99
High-End Wines/Champagne: S./159-549
Pisco Sours/Pisco Punches: S./21-23
Chilcanos: S./23
Margaritas: S./19
Mojitos: S./21

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Sheila was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She spent several years in Denver, Colorado at Regis University and lived eleven years in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before moving with her Peruvian husband to live full-time in Peru in 2007. An epicurean at heart, Sheila first became inspired about food and cooking through the fantastic cooks in her Danish family. In her free time, Sheila is a volunteer at an orphanage, is involved in sports, including tennis and spinning, and loves exploring Peru’s incredible cuisine.