Breaking bread is a bonding experience, encouraging new friendships and testing the strength of communal sledgehammers. Swing into sustenance with today's Groupon: for $20, you get a Peruvian dinner for two at Villa Peru in Tempe (up to a $41.50 value). Meals include:
- A shared appetizer (up to an $8.50 value)
- Any two entrees (up to a $16.50 value each)
Channeling traditional flavors from the city of Lima, Villa Peru transports tasters to international shores with a menu brimming with made-to-order dishes prepared with fresh Peruvian ingredients. Appetizers please all five senses with aromatic, vibrant arrangements such as papa rellena, which features a lineup of deep-fried mashed potatoes stuffed with seasoned ground beef and raisins. After warming up their mastication muscles, tandems can move into heavy-hitting entrees including the corderito chiclayano—a slow-roasted lamb shank adorned in seven spices and served atop a bed of white rice, canary beans, and yucca potatoes. Savory hunks of white fish, shrimp, and octopus headline a cavalcade of seafood platters, and sandwiches allow diners to fill idle jazz hands with succulent cuts of beef, chicken, or ham. With a BYOB policy, guests are free to bring their own cans, bottles, or Stanley Cups to complement their meals.
Inside Villa Peru, ambrosial wafts grapple for attention with the harmonic notes of Peruvian pan-flute music, and artifacts and décor add spirited doses of Lima to each dining experience.
Walter Salazar—chef, owner, and Lima native—staffs Villa Peru with family members who are "friendly, familiar with the food, and happy to take the time to walk you through any of the dishes," according to the Phoenix New Times in 2011. This help is especially valuable in light of the eclectic menu, which chef Salazar fills with exotically spiced meats and seafood. Inside the kitchen, chefs flame pieces of steak, hot peppers, and tomatoes in the chef's secret sauce to craft lomo saltado de carne entrees, or sprinkle fresh fish, squid, and octopus with lime to prepare their specialty ceviche mixto. Those customers who don't bring bottles of their own wine may sip hard-to-find Peruvian beverages such as Inca Kola or sweet and tangy chicha morada, an extract of purple-corn juice.