Mancora offers a taste of traditional Peruvian flare – from colorful plates of ceviche to plump rotisserie chickens. An evening here makes us feel like we've just scaled Machu Picchu without breaking a sweat.The Inca Empire once spanned far and wide across the coast of South America. Ancient civilizations built towering cities in the Andes, explored far-flung lands, and (our favorite part) cooked dishes using local staples like potatoes, beef and seafood. The days of the empire may be long gone, but the influence is alive and thriving in delicious plates of modern Peruvian cuisine. Now, we’d love to hop a flight down south (anybody got a suitcase we can cram into?) but a trip over to First Avenue is a good start for any hungry history fans. Mancora is offering a taste of the traditional, with everything from colorful plates of ceviche to plump rotisserie chickens.
Named for a city in northwestern Peru, this East Village Cafe traces the past through savory appetizers like the Papa a la Huancaina, boiled sliced potato smothered in Peruvian cheese sauce. Continue the journey with the Ceviche Mixto ó Mariscos, a mixture of fish, mussels, clams, octopus, shrimp and squid marinated in fresh lime juice with cilantro and red onion, then served with potato, yam and corn. Or skip over to the richly flavored Pescado a lo Macho, a baked fillet of red snapper topped with seafood sautéed in a creamy sauce and best eaten over a warm bed of rice. Looking to go whole hen? The rotisserie chicken at Mancora continuously arrives golden and crispy on the outside, but juicy and tender on the inside. Be sure to complete the whole quest with one of the Peruvian desserts, too. The Pionono shows off Peru’s Spanish roots, while making our sweet tooths very happy. What’s not to like about cake rolled with dulce de leche then topped with chocolate syrup? Plus, airfare to Peru ain’t a problem after a couple sangrias or pisco sours. In our minds, we’ve just scaled Machu Picchu without breaking a sweat — and we even got a belly full of food out of the whole affair.
Papa a la Huancaina, $5
Ceviche Mixto ó Mariscos, $16
Pescado a lo Macho, $17
Whole Rotisserie Chicken, $13
Sunday – Thursday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Friday & Saturday, 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.