Tender pieces of chicken marinated in wine and herbs, grilled on a brochette, and served with a delicious green garlic goat cheese dipping sauce with sticky rice and a side salad.
You wouldn’t guess it from the name, but The Boulevard Café is a Peruvian restaurant that serves ceviche, croquetas, tamales, parrilladas, and other delectable Peruvian fish, shrimp, and meat dishes, as well as sandwiches and salads. The place has been open for as long I can remember, and the food has always been outstanding.
The anticuchos can be ordered in chicken, beef tenderloin, or shrimp. All are good, but my favourite are the chicken. The wine and herb marinade is flavourful and fabulous, and the brochette is grilled to perfection. The dipping sauce is a revelation–green and creamy, with an overriding taste of garlic, cheese, and fresh herbs. I could eat it by the spoonful. The plate comes with a lovely green salad and choice of rice or potatoes, and I really can’t decide which I like better. The rice is sticky and very tasty, but the potatoes are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside and can be used to soak up the rest of the incredible sauce. I have even gone so far as to order both on occasion.
The anticuchos at The Boulevard Café are so good I haven’t ordered anything else in years. So when I went to Peru a few years ago, I was partiularly excited to have them there. What a disappointment! It turns out anticuchos are ubiquitous in Peru, but they are generally tough skewers of corazon (heart) which I did not care for at all. Either I picked the wrong place to try this popular delicacy, or it is not for my Westernized palate (it’s hard to say, because I couldn’t bring myself to give them a second try!).
The Boulevard Café is a cozy neighborhood restaurant located on Harbord Street. It is open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, and has a really nice room upstairs for private parties.