Dave and I left the sanctuary of our resort to wander down the main road in Urubamba in search of a well-reviewed restaurant called 3 Keros. David’s internet research indicated that it was “just across the street” from our hotel. Walking out the front gate we looked across the street only to find a refueling station of some kind. The sign said it was a mini-mart but it was instantly obvious that an Urubamba mini-mart and a Murfreesboro mini-mart are two completely different animals. We turned left, on the recommendation of the lady at the front desk at the hotel and wandered several blocks thinking, “There is no way there is a fantastic restaurant in this area.” Just as we were starting to get somewhat worried we walked around a bend in the road and there it was. A cute little Peruvian restaurant situated on the second floor of a building just slightly less dilapidated than the ones we had passed on our way.
At the top of a wooden staircase we found a small room filled with about 8 tables with the sounds of Motown playing in the background. We were met at the door by a sweet young girl who gestured for us to sit anywhere. Seconds later a man in a chef coat appeared at our table. He was Ricardo, the owner of the 3 Keros. He pointed out a dish on the menu that he said chef’s around the world came to his restaurant to eat. His English was very good, as well it should be since he attended college at University of Michigan. He personally brought us a plate of spiced Andean root and told us the local beer of choice was Cusquena. We ordered the beer and his suggested entrée called Lomo Saltado which consisted of beef tenderloin bites sautéed with onions and Peruvian spices.
To our complete delight he offered for us to come into the kitchen while he made his signature dish for us. It was like watching an artist at work. He put the beef in a pan and the set it on fire with Pisco, the local alcohol of choice. Then he transferred the beef to a bowl to rest and dropped sliced onion which had been marinated in balsamic vinegar into the hot pan. We were immediately treated to a flambé experience and told that the onions would jump like popcorn when they were ready. Sure enough after just a few seconds the onions began hopping around in the pan. He transferred the beef back into the hot pan and finished with some beef stock to make a sauce.
Every time David and I come back from a trip, we invite the family over to see our pictures and hear our travel stories. I do my best to recreate some of the food we found most delicious on or trip for dinner. This meal was absolutely amazing so it is definitely on my list of meals to try and recreate. Thanks to Ricardo’s sharing his kitchen and techniques with us, I think this is a dish I may actually have a shot at getting right.