Panchita is a criollo restaurant, it serves traditional creole
Peruvian dishes. Those are typically “people’s” food derived from the
food slaves and their descendants ate. There’s a classic repertoire,
and it includes a lot of offal and offcuts. Panchita is a bit larger
than your typical criollo place, a bit higher quality, but with a tiny
bit less character than some of the smaller quirkier places. It’s good
for getting an idea of how these dishes “ought” to be made before
trying some more interesting places.
That said, if you want good cuy (guinea pig) this is the place to
go. Most places take a whole guinea pig, drop it in the deep fryer,
then let you pick it apart. This can be a bit challenging if you are
squeamish about coming face-to-face with a fried rodent, and it tastes
more like “fried” than anything else. The cuy at Panchita is
butterflied and fried but it has a nice crispy skin and tender juicy
meat. It’s quite tasty - more than just a tourist novelty.
We also had ceviche and anticuchos, both of them classic Peruvian
dishes. Ceviche being cubes of raw fish “cooked” in lime juice, and
anticuchos being marinated beef heart grilled on skewers. The first
time we came we had their sampler, which includes chicken gizzards,
tripe stew, blood stew, and lung. It makes me want to try cooking some
of these dishes myself!