A recent presentation from restaurant group “Cusco Restaurants” had me intrigued by the variety of styles and menus that its establishments had to offer, and on a recent trip to Cusco, I was rewarded with several opportunities to dabble in a various assortment of dishes at several of their venues.
Highly recommended for its healthy and delectable cuisine, at the top of my list was Green’s Organic. As a girl from a rural farming town in Pennsylvania, I was exposed to the variety of seasonal fresh ingredients that local farms had to offer. In addition, my family had and still has a fruitful, organic garden, and although my palate was very limited early in my childhood, I was raised to appreciate the natural flavors of untarnished produce and meats.
Aracari founder Marisol had also recently added Green’s to her personal list of recommended restaurants, giving mention to it in her blog article “Trip Report: 5 day in Cusco and the Urubamba Valley.”
Green’s Organic lived up to its name from the moment I entered. A dimly lit wooden stairway leads you to a landing, with a hanging sculpture of intertwined vines forming a tube-shaped structure hung overhead. Reaching the second level, the warmth of natural light floods in, and colorful paintings and decorations bring the restaurant to life. Both staff members that were at the entrance acknowledged me with a smile, and I selected a seat on one of the couches in order to spread out and take in the atmosphere of the place.
As I looked around, there were several things that caught my attention: the wonderful contrast of the exposed wooden buttressing against the solid white walls, the view of the cathedral from my seat, and that I was the only person in the restaurant.
My eagerness had blinded me to the fact that Green’s had just only opened its doors for lunch, and that the staff were still prepping for the day! I was happy to wait, though, as I checked my emails using the free Wi-Fi and took a look through a menu that not only marks each item with a percentage of how organic each one is, every single item seemed entirely too enticing for me to decide on my own. When the waitress came over, I asked her which salad she would personally recommend, and after giving me three of her favorites, I decided to go with the alpaca salad, with a fresh mixed fruit juice on the side.
Not long after, she returned with both my fruity, frozen concoction and a colorful and aromatic salad. Atop a healthy bed of mixed greens, the salad was topped with red bell peppers, red onions, pickled radishes, fresh and creamy Andean cheese, beautiful slivers of alpaca meat, and topped with a light balsamic dressing. Each component had a unique and natural flavor in its own right, but mixed together, they created a symphony of tastes and textures reminiscent of a scene from Ratatouille.
The tastes stayed in the forefront of my mind, and wanting to try something else on the menu, I returned a few days later. This time, I decided to try something a little heartier. Although regarded as a strong flavor by some, the alpaca meat that I had tried my previous visit had been cooked to medium-rare perfection, and I decided on a dish featuring alpaca medallions topped with blue cheese and served with roasted asparagus and a potato mash. The dish was delicious and reminded me of the steak and potatoes dinner that was a default favorite growing up. Again, I accompanied my meal with another fruit juice, this time selecting one that meshed fresh fruit with a hint of mint that made a refreshing and lively flavor combination.
Located right off the Plaza de Armas, Green’s Organic is not one that needs someone standing outside and enticing you to try. It is a restaurant that allows the beautiful presentations of proteins common to the region (alpaca, trout, chicken, and quinoa) and locally sourced produce to shine all on their own.