Before recently, I knew only two things about Peru and Peruvians. One: They make a mean pisco sour. Two: The country is home to Machu Picchu, one of the most breathtaking, mind-boggling, man-made structures in the world. That was the extent of my knowledge about this Latin American country, until I went to Taste of Peru, a tiny North Side haunt crammed into a shabby strip mall. The restaurant also taught me that Peruvian chefs churn out a mean paella that rivals the best that I have had in Spain.
I had eyeballed the Taste of Peru sign close to a trillion times while cruising up and down North Clark Street, but it wasn't until recently that two of my buds and I ended up there on a whim. We were all lost as geese about where to eat, and something about Peruvian sounded exotic at the time. On the hunt for something hearty, steaming and cheap, we thought Taste of Peru fit the bill, and its BYOB policy cemented our decision.