Peru Food Festival Sunday: Get There Early
Third Annual Festival de Comida Peruana
Luis Chong The lines at last year's festival were shortest early in the day.
Where: Civic Center Plaza
When: Sunday July 24, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Admission free; food costs vary by vendor
The rundown: Last year's Peruvian Food Festival was more popular than expected, and several booths ran out of food early. This year 24 Peruvian restaurants and caterers from all over the Bay Area will serve more than 40 traditional dishes, while Peruvian bands play live music to keep your hips moving.
Popular local restaurant Fresca will offer picarones (fried doughnuts similar to zeppole covered with honey) and anticuchos (beef heart skewers), while El Perol is making escabeche de pollo (a cold chicken stew appetizer) and papas a la huancaina (potatoes with spicy cheese sauce).
See if any of your favorites are among the other featured dishes: ceviche, aji de gallina (shredded chicken in yellow chile stew), seco de cordero (lamb stew), cabrito norteño (northern goat stew), pollo a la brasa (roasted chicken), sopa de mote (Andean soup), choros a la Chalaca (cold mussels dish from the city of Callao), lomo saltado, and tamales.
For the first time this year, in addition to imported beers and soft drinks, the beverage garden will also serve pisco, the Peruvian brandy. It's 60 to 80 percent proof, so consider taking BART.