El Mesón de Don Tomás

This restaurant was chosen in an interesting manner. I was wondering around the Plaza and looking for something to eat when a guy around my age asked me what I was looking for. I said that I was looking for food, and he offered to show me the way to a good restaurant. We talked for a bit, then he offered to show me some Incan stone work.

We went down this alley that had some small booths selling various items. There was a clear divide between the Incan work and the Spanish stones. The Spanish stones in the wall all had mortar and were a fraction of the size of the Incan stones, which were perfectly cut to fit together. Even more amazing was the fact that the Spanish stone work looked older and more worn down than the Incan stone work. The guy I was with showed me how there were certain stones that formed the shape of the famous puma and snake symbols that the Incas used. He was very nice and talked to me and showed me around for 30-45 minutes, so I bought one of his paintings. I had been expecting that from the start, and I was happy to buy something after how long he took to talk to me and show me around.

Anyway, that leads to the restaurant that he suggested. When I went in and was seated, there were some cool decorations. Some decorative stonework was made to look like the Incan stonework. There were some cool things on the stones, like this giant owl made out of fiber strands. I’d bet it is alpaca.


Before the meal, I was brought bread that included two sauces and some butter. I tried both sauces, but I preferred the butter. The yellowish one wasn’t too spicy, and it didn’t have as much flavor as butter does. The other one was a pico, and it had a bit of a kick to it. I was happy to try it, but I decided to stick with butter.


I had ordered the Q’apchi de Champiñones, which had the following english description: Vegetarian dish; a potato mixture with mushrooms, cheese, seasoned with herbs, served with rice; to the Andean style. It sounded good, and it was one of the cheaper entrees on the menu, coming to about $9.35 if you exclude the drink. When I got the meal, I was a little disappointed. It was pretty ugly and almost bland looking. But at least it had a pretty butterfly on the plate! When I took a bite, I realized that it was very similar to a stroganoff: and stroganoffs are never pretty. The sauce base had a potato flavor, and it was very flavorful overall. I don’t know what spices they used, but it tasted great!


After my meal, I got the crunchy corn kernels. So far, they have been served before the meal as a sort of appetizer, but these were wonderfully hot and salty, so I think they were making a fresh batch. It was almost too hot to eat, but the dish it was served in was ice-cold. The two temperatures worked well together to make sure it stayed warm while cooling down enough to eat.


Overall, I was very happy with the restaurant. But I seem to be happy with most of the restaurants I have encountered here so far!

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