A few weeks ago, our friends introduced to Q’ero Restaurant, a cozy restaurant that serves South American & Peruvian food. They also have a second location, Casa del Q’ero.
We had a wonderful meal there and I can’t believe it’s taken us so long to visit this longstanding local gem.
We started with a glass of this signature drink, which can be served hot or over ice. It’s made from boiled purple corn, pineapple, apple, cinnamon, and clove. The tartness and color reminded me a little bit of hibiscus, and the spices gave this a very refreshing feel.
Thin-sliced yuca and green plantain chips drizzled with a herb infused garlic oil and grated Parmesan cheese. These were crunchy and fun to nibble on.
Grilled marinated morsels of beef heart, served slightly medium rare. A bit too chewy for my taste.
Arepas de Queso
My favorite of the appetizers we shared. Crispy and light corn meal cakes filled with cheese. I loved the corn flavor and the gooey cheese center.
Salteña de Carne
Large baked empanada stuffed with ground beef, sautéed onions, potatoes, raisins, and spices.
This was my entree. Sautéed flank steak, onions, tomatoes, and French fries, finished with an Ají Colorado sauce.
This reminded me of a spicy tomato beef stew with French fries mixed in. Mr. K really enjoyed this a lot and I probably should have switched plates with him. I opted for quinoa over rice, which I regretted. While the quinoa was good, the rice our friends ordered was even better.
This was the special of the night, which Mr. K chose. The steak was perfectly cooked. served on top of the the sweetest roasted sweet potatoes and swiss chard. It was finished with some caramelized onions.
Ají de Gallina
Hand torn chicken in a roasted walnut and creamy Ají Amarillo sauce. I had a bite of my friend’s rice, cooked with a little butter, and it was heavenly. I definitely need to get the rice next time.
Tres leches and Alfajores are popular desserts here and ones we definitely want to try in the future. But I had to get the Tulum. Walnut tart is not usually on the top of my dessert choices, but this one was delicate, light, and almost meringue-like. It was served with a Tahitian vanilla bean whipped cream cheese, fresh berries, and a drizzle of chocolate and honey.
I don’t usually like to get too personal, but because of how dear this foundation is to me, I felt I needed to highlight it a little in this post. The reason why I chose this dessert was because of this menu description:
Sean was my first yoga teacher and I continued to practice at his studio until his very tragic and untimely passing. The foundation his parents started to honor him is so very inspirational. The non-profit organization teaches yoga to at-risk/ low-income students at schools throughout Southern California, and to date, it has introduced yoga to over 13,000 students.
This tart was a recipe Sean discovered during a yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico, which he then introduced to Q’ero’s where he worked at the time. The restaurant continues to honor his memory by serving his tart and supporting the foundation.
Overall, we had a really nice meal here and Mr. K and I definitely want to return and try more items. The restaurant is quite small so reservations are recommended. You can view the menu on their website.
564 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024