If you’re from Rhode Island, chances are you’ve heard of Los Andes – an eatery specializing in Peruvian and Bolivian cuisine, well known for their steak and seafood, on Chalkstone Ave in Providence. Los Andes is a restaurant where you can find an impressive wait any night of the week. I was there on Tuesday night and parties of two were waiting over 30 minutes for a table. (Hint, hint: make a reservation). After driving by countless times and seeing dozens of cars awaiting valet and people waiting in line outside, I decided I needed to see if this spot was worth the hype! I was not familiar with South American cuisine, but I’ll try anything once. So last night, I tested it out!
As soon as you enter the establishment, there is a bustling bar in front of the host stand – my guess is that this is where the wait list gets a buzz before their time for dinner. The atmosphere immediately hints to you that this place knows what their doing – it’s dimly lit with a ambiance that is lively, fun and authentic.
As soon as you turn the corner to the dine, you are surrounded by large parties, romantic dates, friends catching up, in an open and eccentric room. Little did I know that in back of this room was another enormous room that was open to the outdoors and attached to a patio dining area (also with another bar). This place is HUGE and from the outside, so deceiving!
Now let’s get to the important stuff: food and drink. My date and I ordered two Morado Mules: their spin on the Moscow Mule. They were so refreshing and tasty! For appetizers, we ordered the Ceviche Martini: a medley of seafood consisting of fresh diced tilapia, squid, shrimp, prince edward island mussels, tossed with a cilantro, rocoto and garlic leche de tigre, served in a martini glass, garnished with cancha and choclo, for $11.95. The flavor in this appetizer was unbeatable; the mussels were insane! We also ordered 4 Empanada de Pollo, at $2.95 each. These were crispy and large, with extremely juicy marinated pulled chicken within them. Delicious!
Note: if you plan on getting your own entree, I suggest not getting this amount of food beforehand. Their entrees are HUGE!
For my entree, I ordered the Picque a lo Macho: Pan seared strips of angus sirloin, and chorizo, sautéed with dijon mustard, deglazed in a marsalla wine, finished with your choice of raw or sautéed onions, jalapenos, and tomato salsa, topped with hard boiled eggs, served on a bed of steak fries. I’ve heard this plate was good, but that’s an understatement. This plate was freakin’ amazing – and HUGE! I have leftovers for my next 3 meals basically. And all for $15.95.
My date ordered their famous dish – Langosta Paella: 1½lb. Maine Lobster, stuffed with sautéed chorizo, chicken, P. E. I. mussels, clams, squid, shrimp, and seasoned yellow rice, garlic wine broth, for $39. 95. Note: this is probably the most expensive dish, as most entrees are under $20. He enjoyed it, as he ate it too fast for me to snap a picture. Our waitress said that this dish is the most popular.
If you check out their menu, you’ll see that it’s hard to choose what to order. There are so many combinations of deductible ingredients, so do your best and choose wisely! You can always go back to try another plate – I know I will! I’m officially a South American food fanatic, and the latest member to jump on the Los Andes bandwagon.