No Stone Microwaves, Please

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Dave’s View:  Why was the actual Machu Picchu in Peru created?  One theory claims it was a prison colony for people who committed heinous crimes.  Could a heinous crime back then be construed as bad food?  Food so revolting that the Inca Emperor said, “What the Hell?  You, go to the mountains, and figure this out.  And while you’re up there, no stone microwaves for you!”  Stone microwaves???  I’ll explain in a moment.

Machu Picchu, the restaurant, located off on 38th Street on the west side of Indianapolis, should be convicted of preparing bad food.  The owner or the chef needs to start over or come up with a different game plan.  Now, I know Machu Picchu has been in business for at least five years and quite frankly, I don’t know how they survive.  The two meals that were served to us were just downright disgusting.

I ordered the Aji de Gallina.

Aji de Gallina or AKA Emperor Pachacuti

If you like slightly thick noodle soup with no noodles, just strips of shredded chicken in a yellow sauce with no taste, then you’ll like this dish.  That hump you see in the middle.  It’s a potato.  A potato that was undercooked followed by two hard-boiled eggs and a black olive.  When you look at the picture, it looks like a face of some kind.  I think it was the spirit of the  past Inca Emperor forewarning me not to eat this dish.  It’s screaming, “Oh, no, don’t eat meeeeeeee!!!!!!”  I should have taken his advice.  The dish seemed like it was prepared days in advance, taken out of the refrigerator, spooned out into a sauce pan, and heated on a stove.  No taste, no love, no nothing.

This restaurant needs to quit taking shortcuts and go back to the beginning when they used to have an acceptable restaurant.  I think the owner worked many years to get to this point and now, I believe he or she is  burned out.  It happens to a lot of people, especially in the food business.  The owner needs to quit doing everything and step back and let somebody else take over.  If this were to happen, then hopefully the dishes would improve.

When Andrea’s dish came out, my first impression and statement to her was, “It’s been microwaved.”  Everybody knows what microwaved leftovers look like.  The food loses all of its moisture content and this restaurant  pawns it on us.  Does the owner think their patrons are stupid?  Most patrons will pick up on when food has been microwaved.  It’s just another shortcut and the restaurant needs to stop it.   You need to get in the kitchen and prepare meals.  Not take the chicken from last night(because you couldn’t sell it) and place it on a plate.  You cook it when someone places an order.

So when I say, the Inca Emperor said, “No stone microwaves!”, you know what I mean.  Emperor Pachacuti would disapprove.

Service:  5  Food: 2  Ambiance:  8  Total  15 out of 30

$25-$30 with no adult beverages.  They do not serve adult beverages.

Andrea’s View:  Dave and I found ourselves on the west side of the city one weekday afternoon with a few hours to kill, so we decided to try out Machu Picchu.  It is a Peruvian restaurant, and I was curious about how it compared with the other Peruvian place in town.  The first thing I noticed was how thoughtfully the dining room was decorated.  Native arts and crafts adorned the walls and an arrangement of peruvian treats and colas were displayed in the front.  We were handed menus and a basket of bread with a strange dipping sauce.  I tasted the dipping sauce a couple of times and I’m not really sure what it was (queso maybe), but I was not fond of it.  I ordered an iced tea, and normally I would not mention iced tea but for the fact that it was pre-sweetened and flavored with lime.  At first this was surprising, but ultimately refreshing on a hot day spent consuming spicy food.  I ordered arroz con pollo y papa a la huancaina, a chicken dish served with rice and potatoes.

We waited for some time for our entrées, which at one point Dave mentioned the long wait time and I replied, “It’s not like we are in a hurry.”  Finally food arrived and I was given an enormous plate of green rice with chicken (leg and thigh) and two chunks of potatoes completely smothered in cheese sauce.  I took a bite of the chicken and said, “Hmm interesting.  I’ve never had green chicken before.”  Dave chuckled and asked, “How is it?”  As I had only had one bite, I said, ” Not bad.”  Dave replies, “Really, because it looks like it was microwaved.”  As I continue to eat, I discovered that it had indeed been microwaved.  My potatoes with the mystery cheese sauce was stone cold while my rice was scalding hot.  The vegetables in my rice (lima beans, green bean, and peas) were rubbery and dehydrated.  The worst part was the chicken that became more and more chewy and gamey the more it cooled off.

I had to visit the lady’s room after all the tea I drank, and when I got back Dave said that the server wanted to know it I needed a to-go box.  I said, “You told her no, right?  This dish certainly doesn’t need to be reheated a third or maybe even fourth time.”

We asked for the check, and between receiving said check and waiting for the cashier to check us out, we were in the restaurant for another half an hour.  At this point, I was just plain irritated.  Yes, Dave and I did have the better part of an afternoon to waste, but how does a restaurant that obviously took great care and thought into decorating the space not even care about food quality or customer service.  There are too many wonderful ethnic restaurants along this stretch of 38th and Lafayette Road to waste time in this one.

Machu Picchu on Urbanspoon

Machu Picchu Restaurant on Foodio54

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