I blame Peaches for my recent online coupon (e.g. Groupon) addiction. She forwards deals that tempt with sumptuous food at deeply discounted prices. When I protest, Peaches slyly reminds me that she saw the restaurant on my Urbanspoon wish list. Thanks to her prodding, I’ve bought coupons for Inti, Thai Bistro and Bistro 2210.
On a late Saturday afternoon, I took my parents and L to Inti. Inti offers a $12.99 lunch buffet, which seem to be a popular choice with customers. I saw our server constantly refill the buffet with freshly prepared food (I could hear the chef cooking and then saw the server come out with the dishes), despite the fact it was nearing the end of closing time. The food looked good and offered value and selection. The items included yuca fritas, french fries, assorted meat dishes, garlic rice and various salads. However, I wanted my parents to try my favourite dishes, the Brasa sandwich and the Lomo Saltado, which were not offered in the buffet.
We started off with a round of freshly brewed coffee. L and I shared an appetizer of mussels, the Choritos a la Chalaca ($10.90). Despite my reassurance that seafood was safe to eat in Calgary, my parents declined. I fought the urge to remind them they already consumed a large amount of seafood at the Cultural Centre restaurant. Oh well, that just meant more food for me. The large Kiwi mussels were topped with salsa. The salsa consisted of red onions, parsley, tomatoes and huge kernels of Peruvian white corn. The corn was about 4 times the size of regular corn, crunchy, with a bit of a pop to it. The salsa itself was spicy from the rocoto peppers yet refreshing from the addition of lime juice.
I also ordered the Pan con Chicharon ($11.90), a pork sandwich. The mini French baguette was soft on the inside and crusty on the outside. The filling included tender, juicy slices of pork, onions, special sauce, fried yam and lime salsa. As I bit into the sandwich, the tangy and spicy sauce drip down onto my plate. I used my mother’s fries to sop up the sauce. The fries were nicely seasoned and crisp. For my side, I opted for a salad. The salad was loaded with lots of goodies – such as skinless cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, and avocado slices.
My parents really enjoyed their meal and were delighted with their first experience trying Peruvian cuisine. They were impressed with the bold flavours and large portions. It was also great to get them out of their Keg and White Spot rut. Thanks Inti, you were a parental success!