Our ten favorite “date spots” in Arequipa

I wanted to list the places that have become special to Greg and me in Arequipa. We didn’t get to take a ton of date nights, but when we did, we would usually go to one of these places. Some of our spots are special because we went there with the kids, but this list is for us. These are “our special spots.” (and it is no surprise that they mostly revolve around food)

  1. Zig Zag: voted best restaurant in Arequipa. Besides the delicious tuna steaks and meat trilogies they served on sizzling volcanic stones, “our” favorites were “The Sexiest Salad of Perú” (think artichoke hearts, fresh asparagus, mango, shrimp, quail egg, goat cheese, and red bell pepper with a balsamic honey glaze drizzled across the top), the creamed quinoa (to die for), and their homemade bread.
  2. Crepísimo: the same owners as Zig Zag, but a nice date lunch spot. They have a whole menu of salty crepes and an entire selection of dessert crepes that can be served with or without ice cream. Their salads are amazing, and their fresh juices are divine. It is a perfect outing to share a salad, salty crepe, and chocolate crepe with the man I love.
  3. TGIFridays: When a girl’s hometown is located 15 minutes from the tiny town of Lynchburg, home of Jack Daniels, there is a great sense of homeyness that one feels in Fridays. Even though the burgers taste nothing like the pictures in the Peruvian menu, Greg and I always shared the buffalo wings with mojitos–they were fantastic. Sometimes we splurged and got the ribs with JD sauce. Yummo.
  4. El Gaucho: good beef, great all-you-can-eat salad bar and best fries in the city (and that says a lot for a restaurant located in the potato capitol of the world).
  5. Capriccio: They serve the best cakes in the city, but Greg and I love their menu selection. We would usually always try something different, but we seemed to always want to share the fried mushrooms as an appetizer. The fried chocolate filled churros topped with ice cream were pretty hard to beat as an after dinner dessert.
  6. Ekekos: This restaurant is part of a whole store, my favorite place to look for tourist gifts, but the restaurant has an unbelievable menu. There is so much to choose from, and Greg and I were never disappointed with our plates.
  7. Ras El hanout (Moroccan cuisine): Greg and I LOVE Indian food, and we found that Moroccan food had some similar flavors. We are sad to hear that they have gone out of business, but we sure did enjoy some meals of tender lamb, hummus, and falafels there.
  8. Chili’s and Starbucks in Lambramani: Chili’s is certainly a favorite of our whole family, but when just Greg and I went, we would do chips and queso, an appetizer and drinks. Chilis was comfort food to us for sure. Chilis is located in one of our favorite malls. Right across from it sits Starbucks. So basically, it would be our appetizer, dessert-coffee date night. And we could walk around the mall with our coffees to walk off those calories afterwards. 😉
  9. Hong Kong Express: Arequipa is full of mediocre Chinese food places, but we loved this place for its egg rolls. Most Chinese restaurants in AQP only have wantons on the menu, but Hong Kong didn’t disappoint us with their egg rolls. We would just order egg rolls from them. Such a fun date night. Unfortunately, they went out-of-business around two years ago.
  10. Cine Planet:  not much can beat the Jumbo popcorn and two drinks that we would order to eat with a movie. Besides our movie tickets costing about 3.50 a piece, our popcorn and drinks were around $7. I don’t think you can find that deal in the states. 🙂 We will certainly miss that.

I hope I didn’t leave any out. I will let Greg correct me if I did. These are the ones that have given me the best memories for sure. I am excited to find our new “date spots” in the next chapter, wherever that takes us.

Our ten favorite “date spots” in Arequipa

Favorite Things—August 2013

1.  I have been jogging for 2.5 months now.  Two of my favorites for that activity:

  • the “Running Time” on my IPod shuffle (I can program it for 20 minutes, and a little voice tells me when 5 minutes is completed, half the time completed, etc.)
  • my wristband from R.E.I. (which is also super helpful for my combi money when I am out and about in town)

2.  Tunnel Bear (We have access to U.S., Japan, Britain, Canada, and German TV.  That means we can stream Hulu and we have 4 different Netflix options!)

3.  avacados (I can buy them year-round.  Our bodega one block away ALWAYS has some that are ready for that day.  I can eat a whole one with a little salt and pepper and be happy as a lark.)

4.  These books for our little boy:

  • The Little Blue Truck Series
  • Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
  • Push Here

5.  These books to read-aloud to my girls:  (I loved Roald Dahl as a child.)

6.  IPhone-to-IPhone texting (I can text any of my family or friends that have IPhones for FREE! anywhere in the world.)

7.  2 new food finds for me:

  • Mamut’s (delicious sandwiches)
  • French bakery (another NGO that sells croissants across from our cafe serves a braided pastry with bits of chocolate swirled into it.  Soooo yummy!)

8.  IPhoto slideshow feature (our executive director showed me this awhile back.  If I keep all of my photos organized in events folders, all I have to do is click on the folder, hit the “Play” slideshow button, and it looks like I spent hours on it.  It has been great to have when I need something formal to show a principal that is looking at the program.)

Favorite Things—August 2013