A couple of friends and I were walking around the Bellavista area in Santiago on July 28 and stumbled upon Restaurant Casona Limeña. It looked nice inside and we figured a Peruvian restaurant on the Peruvian Independence Day would guarantee a good time.
Not the case.
There were so many things wrong with our “dining” experience that this is going to be fun.
Chapter 1: No Plates for You!
I ordered a pisco sour (the obvious beverage of choice on Peru’s birthday) and told our well-dressed, lazy-eyed waiter that I wasn’t going to be ordering any food. I figured I’d pick off of my friends’ plates, enjoy my drink and order something later if I got the hankering. This news was not received well by our server. He gave me a weird look and snatched all of my plates and utensils from the table. You know that trick where people pull the table cloth out from under the settings really fast? Well this was kind of like the opposite of that. I looked away for a second and next thing I knew, all I had in front of me was a pisco sour and a napkin.
It was rude, but also stupid. He decided that I wouldn’t be ordering any food and eliminated the restaurant’s opportunity to slap us with a bigger bill. I guess I didn’t tell him that I was thinking about ordering food later, but still, the default response from a waiter to someone not ordering food should not be shunning.
Soon after clearing my place at the table, he brought out bread and butter for the other two, ignoring me, and taking the excommunication theme to whole other level.
Just a lack of common decency. I doubt that they were running out of bread, and it wouldn’t have taken much effort to offer some to the heathen at the table. There’s a nice way to do things, you know?
Chapter 2: Pubic Hair Found in Bread
The lord works in mysterious ways.
It wasn’t lying on top of the roll or on the plate underneath. It was unearthed only after the roll was broken open. Apparently they bake their bread naked. The sauce was good though. Coincidence?
Chapter 3: “Feels like a bad church in here.” – Jason Snyder (fellow dinner guest)
It was a Peruvian restaurant on the Peruvian independence day and everyone was upset. We were one of only three tables in the very large and uncomfortably quiet two-story dining area. The place may have been run by royalists.
Chapter 4: Small Portions, Big Plates
My friends ordered salmon and corvina ceviche. The salmon was decent, but the corvina was terrible. The food was served on huge shell-shaped plates that made the portions look even smaller. If you’re going to skimp on the food wouldn’t it make sense to present it on a smaller plate?
Chapter 5: The Bill – Couldn’t Have Come Soon Enough
Two orders of ceviche cost CP$ 4,200 and the pisco sours went for CP$ 2,400 each, pretty expensive, especially for crappy food and service. The pisco sour was good though.
So if you’re looking for a really crappy dinner out then this is the place for you. Otherwise, steer clear of Restaurant Casona Limeña.