Portland, OR –or PDX as I lovingly refer to it– is one of my favorite cities in the US. I’ve had the fabulous fortune of visiting PDX many times to visit friends and have been greeted by decent, if not sunshiney, weather the majority of each visit. Recently, I went up to surprise Emily, my close family friend/”sister”, for her graduation from Lewis & Clark College. After her ceremony, she, her parents, and I were trying to figure out where to grab a bite to eat and enjoy some celebratory drinks before our dinner at Veritable Quandary (a post on VQ will follow soon!) that night. Andina had received a lot of hype from Em’s mom because of their Pisco Sour– a drink no restaurant could replicate for her. We decided to venture into the Pearl District to enjoy some Peruvian cuisine and a Pisco Sour or two at Andina.
Knowing that we didn’t want to get ridiculously full, we decided to order a few small plates to share between the four of us. As for beverages, we all knew we wanted our own — we take cocktails seriously! Judy and Dave each ordered a Pisco Sour, while I opted for the extremely difficult to pronounce Sacsayhumán (or as I like to call it, the “sexy human”) minus the cilantro (yes, I HATE cilantro!), and Emily had a glass of white wine.
Once the cocktails came, we all tried one another’s. After my third sip, I felt a wave of heat come over my mouth– my drink had some pizzazz! The baker’s sugar rim (also called ultra-fine grade, professional grade cane sugar) and the passionfruit puree helped to offset the heat from the habanero pepper vodka, leaving me wanting to drink more and more! I’d say my nickname of Sexy Human was on track– this drink was sexy! As much hype as it had received, I didn’t care much for the Pisco Sour.. I’m not sure if it was the tartness or the fact that I knew it had egg whites in it and that creeped me out. Em’s wine was delicious, perfect for appetizers. We sipped on our beverages and mulled over the menu.
We ended up ordering Tortilla de Patata, Conchas a la Parmesana, Atún Fusión, and De Betarraga. I’ve included description of each dish is in the caption of the respective picture below.
The Tortilla de Patata was my absolute favorite! A some kind of delicious egg and cheese sauce separating each layer of thinly sliced potatoes, topped with ají amarillo aioli, chives, and red peppers. YUMMY! I almost wish we’d each had our own! The Conchas a la Parmesana was quite yummy, as well. I’ve never had bay scallops before, only sea scallops, and I was glad that the flavor was pretty much the same. The parmesan cheese and lime butter added a lovely component to the mildness of the scallop. I was quite disappointed with the Atún Fusión and the De Betarraga, nowhere on the menu did it say that cilantro was a component of either dish and as I’ve mentioned before, I HATE cilantro. It would have been nice for a) the menu to include such information and b) our server to connect the dots when I requested no cilantro in my Sexy Human drink. Judy is a fellow cilantro hater, and we both found it difficult to pick around the gross green in both dishes.
Overall, I had a fun experience at Andina. It was a bummer about the cilantro, but the ambiance, service and urban views of the Pearl District more than made up for it. Definitely try this delicious Peruvian restaurant if you’re in Portland! Oh, and don’t forget to ask about cilantro in dishes if you’re a fellow hater 🙂 Now I must find a bar/restaurant with habanero pepper vodka so I can replicate my Sexy Human drink!