Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Andina - Portland, OR
With the prices and praises, I entered into Andina with high expectations and come to know it a bit underdressed. Would the staff look down their noses at me because of my too casual attire or would they maintain decorum?
I was started off with a bread basket and three sauces ranging from mild to spicy and even then the spicy was mild. The first was like a sweet thousand island minus the tartness and absent any spiciness, the second was a mango or fruit based with just a hint of spiciness, and the third was the salsa verde which was spice first then sweetness. All were very fresh. I preferred the mild the most.
Aji de Gallina comprises pulled chicken in a creamy ají amarillo-peanut sauce, served with Yukon Gold potatoes, garlic rice, Botija olives and a hard-boiled egg. First off, let me say that while in may be a Peruvian thing, I didn't understand the hard boiled egg and the olive. The egg is what you expect and the olive was very briny. I scooped into the rice first and my first impression was that this entrée was going to good, very good. The rice didn't disappoint with its properly cooked moist yet fluffy texture and mildly garlicky flavor. Then came the Yukon potatoes. Another hit. Cooked to perfection and covered in the aji sauce. The chicken was succulent and fall apart tender blending in well with all the other ingredients. The sauce was creamy, filling, mustardy, with a hint of a curry taste. This dish was hot and wonderful on this moderately seasonal day but would be outrageously comforting and nostalgic on a cold winter day.
Andina wasn't what I expected but it did live up to the expectation of good home cooking kicked up to top notch restaurant quality.
The waiter was professional and sufficient but the gal who I'm assuming is Peruvian or at least with a Hispanic heritage that served the bread, filled the water, and bussed the dishes was just the sweetest, knowledgeable, and anticipating of customer needs. She personified customer relations.
Restroom Rating: 7.9. Better than most, not quite as clean as I expected of a restaurant of this class. Messy customers miss the spot.
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 1 Thessalonians 3:12