Thinking of taking a vacation, but just don’t have the wallet for it right now? Fret not – one of the wonders of the world is right around the corner! Machu Picchu “Restaurante Turístico” welcomes you to their culinary paradise any time you like.
Owner Rosy Cerna is a delightful, smiley woman who is filled with love and passion for her Peruvian roots. I recently sat down with Rosy for a conversation about how she started up the restaurant, and can’t stop smiling. Her story was incredible—at times touching, at others remarkable. And after staying for dinner… my gosh, let’s just say that neither my stomach nor heart wanted to leave!
Check out my top five reasons that Machu Picchu is my new favorite Somerville spot:
1. The diversity of food choices.
“We try to get the most traditional dishes from each region.”
Machu Picchu’s offerings were carefully crafted and chosen by Rosy. The menu represents different specialties from Peru’s 25 states spread amongst the coast, the jungle, and the Andes. You can satisfy your palette with a seafood ceviches, meat or vegetarian stew-like dishes, or a variety of other “Peruvian National Dishes.”
2. The décor.
“Everything you see here has really nice memories for me.”
Machu Picchu has a warm feel to it, making it comfortable for both day- and night-time enjoyment. The earthy wall colors, deep red chairs, and golden trim (that Rosy did herself, I should add) transport you to a different place and time. Rosy told me that every time she goes back to her native Peru, she visits different states and brings something back to hang on the wall.
3. Union Square.
“I’ve been here since 2000, and I can see that it’s changed a lot.”
If you’re looking for a night out, you should consider venturing to Union Square. In recent years, Union Square has become renowned for its variety of ethnic eateries and funky shops. It is quaint and colorful, with a yoga studio, comic book shop, and more. Make a day of it, and wrap it up with a filling, tasty meal at Machu Picchu.
4. Live Andean music.
“Every restaurant you visit in Lima, you’re going to have music.”
Rosy expressed to me how very important music was to restaurant culture in Peru. She seems to have taken some of that with her to the States; Machu Picchu has offered live Andean music every Friday night since it first opened. These musicians are friends of Rosy’s, and are fun, charismatic performers. Let the strings make you dance, make you feel, or make you laugh as they accompany a South American rendition of “Happy Birthday” to someone in the crowd!
5. The history.
“I used to travel to New Jersey to get my produce.”
Getting started in the restaurant business can be hard stuff, and Rosy’s story was no exception. She jumped through her fair share of hoops in the earlier years of Machu Picchu, including a long certification process for her charcoal oven—that she imported all the way from Peru! She was always a stickler for her food being 100% Peruvian, so she used to drive all the way down to New Jersey twice a month to stock up on certain ingredients she couldn’t find elsewhere. That deserves some serious kudos (though I’m glad she doesn’t have to do that anymore!)
This list could go on forever, but you should check out Machu Picchu for yourself! Say hello to Rosy for me, would you?