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A few nights later, we chose Los Faroles de Dukes, not far up Plateros from the plaza. Since this restaurant was not right on the plaza, it was less expensive and less crowded - so we had no problem getting a table on the balcony. By this time, we knew enough about dining in Peru to ask for the cena touristica, a multi-course menu offered at a special price. For S/10, we got to choose from a list of five soups, seven entrees, and several beverages. We selected sopa a la ciolla (a noodle soup with meat), spaghetti a la Carbonada (OK, so it wasn't exactly Peruvian, but we wanted to see how pasta would be prepared here), and coca tea. The service was fairly slow, but that's not surprising for Peru. And it was actually a good thing we were there for awhile. When our food was finally served, live music started up - and so we moved inside to listen during our meal. Not a bad way to end another busy day in Peru!
One of my most memorable orders of café con leche was at a tiny, no-name restaurant in Ollyantaytambo. Here, I received a huge ceramic mug of warm milk, a tiny glass pitcher of strong coffee, and a large container of sugar. With so much milk, this version of café con leche was extremely filling – but also comforting on that cool morning, as we enjoyed our breakfast outdoors at a heavy wooden table next to the dusty road.
Back in Cusco, the classy café La Bondiet provided a more sophisticated café con leche, which fit right in with the classical music, soft lights, and impressive display case of French and Peruvian pastries. A delicate cup and saucer held warm, fresh milk, and it was accompanied by a pitcher of frothy coffee. This drink was a perfect complement to the plate of tiny handmade pastries like pinonitos (vanilla sponge cake with sweet condensed milk and coconut) and cachitos (puff pastry cones filled with Peruvian sweet milk) we ordered with it.
I think I was spoiled by all the great café con leche I sampled in the Cusco area – so imagine my disappointment when all I could find throughout the rest of our trip was Nescafe…