One of our favorite places in town is a small restaurant on the east side – Hola! Restaurant – that features really great nouveau Peruvian cuisine.
When I eat at places that offer out-of-the-ordinary choices, it’s hard to decide whether to try something new or stick with a favorite (my favorite being their halibut tacos served with rice and refried beans that are like no other rice and beans you’ve ever eaten at any other Mexican restaurant).
This evening, feeling a bit adventurous, I ordered a Peruvian dish called Lenguado made from halibut, prawns, calamari, onion and tomatoes wok-fried with a choririllana-style sauce, and served with quinotto, which we *gringos* know as quinoa. Delicious! The seafood and vegetables were incredibly tender, and I think the quinoa had a bit of cheese melted in the middle.
Gary ordered Mole Poblano – a recipe that’s been in the restaurateur’s family for over 75 years. It consists of chicken breast simmered in a light sweet chocolate sauce (of course). That there weren’t chunks of chocolate floating in the sauce was hubby’s only disappointment. Of course.
One of the things I appreciate about Hola! – well, besides their extremely courteous service and the really great food – is their commitment to community. They give quite a bit in food and supplies to hungry people in central Oregon.
If you’re ever in Bend, Oregon and hunkering for tasty Mexican-Peruvian cuisine, try Hola! Restaurant on the east side (gotta get there early to get a table) or their new location in the Old Mill District.