Saturday, April 22, 2006

La Carreta: French Fries In Peru

It's a good thing I married someone from Idaho. Someone who can appreciate Heaven's gift to culinary love, that being the onion.
Really, the potato.
I've been known to try a plate of French fries at just about any joint I walk into--that includes the Italian joints. Usually I don't like my French fries smothered in marinara and mozzarella, thus I've learned to leave the "French fry" up to other cultures. (The Greeks, next door, aren't so bad!)
And I know that this is a restaurant review blog but may I just interject here to say I've been to the birth place of the French fry--Belgium--and I've paid my tributes to their contribution to the world. It was a sacred experience.
Now, did you know that Peru does a mean fry plate? Well, they do at La Carreta the teeny, tiny restaurant at the top of Orem's glorious state street. Plates start with a layer of fries (are they French fries if they are in Peru? Such questions keep me up at night!) The fries are followed by a nice light white rice, topped by, this is the good part, whatever you choose. I love their sauteed vegetables, the spouse likes the chicken, I've seen some go for shell fish. Last of all, this concoction is drizzled on by some sort of sauce which I can only guess is part soy sauce, part garlic, part Amazon River Ancient Peruvian Secret.
Before you get to all that though, there is some chips and salsa to indulge. It's salsa that starts off like a nice boy scout and ends up kickin' like a high school drop-out. Or, in other words, a spicy surprise.
La Carreta will also tempt you with some sweet desserts like the fried cheesecake and the tres leches. Tres good. All of them.
Most importantly though, I've been to La Carreta with my one brother who lived in Peru for a time. It's good to know if things are authentic, you know? Because if it were me, I'd be assuming that they would be dishing up monkey toenails and long slimy slugs rolled in flour, broiled in fish sauce and sauteed to perfection. It's true, I've never been to South America before. But I have heard that they will eat just about anything there! Like chicken's hearts and pig tendons...
The brother was amazed. He just sat there shaking his head and remembering his days along the Amazon sweeping the dirt floor in his one-room hut.
I'm not sure if those were good times for him, but good times await La Carreta costumers--to be sure.

***Don't forget to try the Inca Cola, an import, from the hills of some ruins, somewhere.
***Plates start around $8

Posted by Cjane


julie said...

I dated a guy who was obsessed with Peru. He kept saying he wanted to take me to a Peruvian restaurant "up north" that he loved. We never got around to it. I wonder if this was the one he likes.

julie said...

I like fries, too, but plain. By plain I mean not topped with anything like gravy, cheese curds, etc. I never really got into poutine on the mission. Maybe it's just because I don't like gravy. Maybe I'd like the Peru fries.

warnser said...

Thanks for the review. I am intrigued. Yes Greeks do make a mean French fry, and sometimes they even put them in gyros.

Anyway I would love a rating for this restaurant. (the rating system is in the forum (top link) I think, this would probably fall into the wooden spoon category).
Anyway thanks again.

Cardine said...

Come to think of it, I have been there before. I believe that it was the location of the classic dinner with my sisters when one of them said that I got the best eyes, nose, etc. It was ridiculous, but yes, very tasty food.

Cardine said...

I am confused as to the purpose of the forum vs this page. Please share.

warnser said...

The forum is a place for questions, information, and ideas, which will continue to be updated with current information, whereas this page is specifically for commenting on the restaurant being reviewed.

PeruanadeNacimiento said...

I am "native from Peru" (South America) and I can tell you that:

Firstable, we do not eat everything; This is the first time I heard someone saying that we eat ears pigs etc. Maybe in the jungle where the food is more exotic and is well known that they have its own amzon dishes (5% of people), but not around the whole country.

Second, Even LA CARRETA itself "admits their food began with Mexican dishes" For example today the deep fried burrito that you like so much and they have in their menu is absolutely not Peruvian is MEXICAN, or the arroz con pollo, (I do not know where did they come out with that one) We do not have tortillas in Peru at all, we eat french or italian bread. Tortillas are Mexican.

And Third, La Carreta portions are "small and pricy, you will stay hungry unless you also order an appetizer" One good place to eat authentic food is the stand inside the Provo Home Depot Store in UT its call THE CRAZY COW (INSIDE the Provo Home Depot Store-next to the exit door) the big brown eye Peruvian girl cooks authentic Lomo= Rib Eye HOT SANDWICHES that are so succulent and fullfilling and I can tell you is the best in the County and her food is native from Peru, she also serves churros and Aji de Galina the real dealwith all of the ingredients! tamales that have in Peru. My husband and I love going to this lil stand that looks like a cow skin with stains and all but blue. We go to La Carreta for the Milanesa con arroz because I use to eat this as a child but for real authentic Peruvian Food go to The Crazy Cow, this place is going to be the next best thing on the Summer. Un Gran Saludo de una Peruana. Best Regards from a native Peruvian girl.

warnser said...

Thank you for sharing your comments.
It's great to see a second perspective.

We would love more information about the peruvian food that you mentioned.

Let us know if you have more information.


Anonymous said...

Hello everyone, here are my two cents. Aji de Gallina is a Peruvian dish that means "Hen of Peppers". It is made with shredded chicken breast that cooks in vegetables then blended with peruvian peppers that do not grow in the US, over a bed of rice that this girl (at the Crazy Cow) cooks with the broth of the chicken. You can just feel the flavors in your mouth melting slowly, is so good. Most restaurants skip a lot of the ingredients or change them like La Carreta and add almonds? ok because is an expensive dish. But if you want to try it go to the crazy cow it's a stand at the Home Depot in Provo UT. They have it every Saturday but go early because it gets pack and they run out. One more thing the rib-eye yumm got try the rib eye or best known in Peru as Lomo, it is really delicious, and it comes from a Peruvian dish call 'Lomo Saltado' they made it a sandwich, is one of my favorites. Tamales are also very good and natural, the ones at the crazy cow are handmade. We love this place, we are students so we get 10% off everytime we go there, great food and authentic.

Alex said...

La Carreta is good however if you want authentic and delicious go to Cafe Peru. They actually have a Chef cooking for them. The Lomo Saltado, Aji de Gallina and Chupe de Camarones are out of this world!!! They are in Midvale off of 7200 south and State Street. Oh, and the ceviche is outstanding.

Peter said...

It was our first time and the last time, this restaurant is going to close soon, man, dinner was about $12 a plate, portion very small and meat piece thin as a piece of paper, and food absolutely saturated with frying oil, man, I am still having stomach cramps. Very nasty! I hate Sizzler's but now I would even enjoy food there. How sad.

Taylor said...

I've been to La Carreta now three days in a row! I love it! Especially the ceviche and the maracuya drink. Check out my

warnser said...

Thanks Taylor. I will check it out!