rustica fabrizzio’s restaurant

Not your average taco joint...

Not your average taco joint…

I know what a lot of my millions of readers are thinking….”Hey, Mr. Tourist, what’s the greatest length you’ve gone to try a taco?”

Well, I’ve traveled to the suburbs…Yuck! I’ve gone to Lincoln Park… Ick! I’ve had tacos made by white people…Ewe! I’ve made a few visits to California… Actually, those were pretty fun. But, there must be one that stands out. One that seems a little more overboard than the others. What could it be?

Oh, right….

Last week, I took a five hour flight to Panama City, Panama, then took another three hour flight to Lima, Peru. From there, I had a one hour flight to Cusco, before hiking through the Andes for four days to the top of Machu Picchu. There, I asked my princess to marry me (you know, to butter her up), and then asked her if she wanted to take a bus down the mountain to the city of Aguas Calientes to look for some tacos. She said yes!….to both questions (yes, there will be a Mrs. Tourist!)! Isn’t she the best?

I could write a whole lot about Peru (chickens, dogs, short dudes), Machu Picchu (high elevation, long trek, short dudes), our culinary experiences there (slow service, ceviche, short dudes), yadi, yadi, yada….but this is a taco blog, so let’s get down to brass tax.

After seeing several places that made tacos, and served Alpaca and Guinea pig in various forms, I finally found a place that would combine these offerings into one: Rustica Fabrizzio’s Restaurant (which has earned a beaming one and a half stars on Trip Advisor).

The owner is Colombian and tried to woo us with his baby mama in San Francisco, his super cool sunglasses, and his secret stash of drugs hidden behind a brick in the wall. Picture South Beach. The only wooing I needed, though, was taco wooing.

Mr. Fabrizzio’s tacos look a bit like wet burritos. They are rolled up in flour tortillas, and are covered in a sweet and spicy sauce, along with some grilled onions. The sauce is pretty darned good. But, I wasn’t there for sauce. I was there for meat.

I was very interested in the Guinea pig. It’s considered a delicacy there, and is somewhat of a national dish. I took a deep breath, took my first bite….and….it was terrible. Find the oldest, dirtiest nickel you’ve got. Then, suck on it. That’s about as close to describing the taste of this Guinea pig as I can get.

The alpaca, however, was exceptionally good. The meat has the flavor of beef, with the leanness of venison. It was cooked very well and I consider this taco one of my favorites I’ve ever had…probably more because of the surrounding events than anything, but still tremendously tasty.

Overall, this place isn’t as bad as Trip Advisor says. I just wouldn’t order the Guinea pig. Maybe the good ole steak or chicken tacos would have been a good choice.

Basically, rats and llamas...

Basically, rats and llamas…

I guess I’ll save that for next time…

  • Location: Av. Pachacutec, Aguas Calientes, Peru (Machu Picchu)
  • Tourists:  Josh, Julia, Glen, Nikki
  • Tacos sampled:  alpaca and Guinea pig (also have beef and chicken)
  • Toppings:  secret sauce, Andean cheese, grilled onions
  • Salsa:  none
  • Extras:  chips, guacamole, and lettuce
  • Tortillas:  flour
  • Atmosphere:  mountain town, tourists, Machu Picchu, Jenga, douchy owner offering you spliffs and cocaine
  • Price: $6/taco
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