Another Lima specialty is the Afro-Peruvian creation, Tacu Tacu. Garbanzo beans or lentils are mashed with rice, onion, garlic and yellow aji pepper, formed into a mold and fried. The Tacu Tacu is served alongside beef, fish or any other kind of meat. Sometimes topped with fried egg and plantain.
Ceviche is my favorite plate in Peruvian cuisine, but his favorite dish in Lima is a Tacu Tacu variant served at El Rincon Que No Conoces in Lince. Their “Tacu Tere,” named for the late chef, Teresa Izquierdo, is Tacu Tacu stuffed with beef or pork tenderloin and served with fried tomato and onion with chorizo, fried egg and plantain. The flavor contrasts are guaranteed to please.
Tacu Tacu is also a staple at Ceviche restaurants. Above is a Tacu Tacu topped with a whitefish filet and smothered in a four-cheese sauce. Food snobs may cringe at fish in cheese, but it was nothing short of sinful. From La Choza Nautica.
Where to eat Tacu Tacu
As you can see, Tacu Tacu is available at traditional Creole restaurants and ceviche restaurants. It’s also common to find at the inexpensive menu restaurants. But if you want a best-in-class Tacu Tacu, find a traditional Afro-Peruvian restaurant. I recommend El Rincon Que No Conoces.
Another excellent option is Bar Cordano, a historic restaurant in downtown Lima one block east of the Government Palace. Tacu Tacu con Bistec Empanado (breaded steak) is their signature dish, pictured at the top of this article.