By Annabelle Goodman –The Boulevard Cafe 161 Harbord St 416 961 7676
I am a happy camper this week. The Film Festival is well under way and I have been enjoying many international films. It is a chance to travel the world and learn so much while seated in a seat at the theatre. The movies have been extraordinary.
Following a bizarre German film I met with my son and daughter-in-law for a Peruvian dining experience. Our family views the Boulevard Café as a second home. We love the savory taste of the Peruvian flavors. The food is always fresh and delicious. I actually don’t even have to look at the menu anymore. I know it by heart. Each day the specials are listed on the blackboard. There are always some unusual Peruvian flavored dishes. The food is exceptional.
It is a small restaurant. In the winter the interior is cozy and charming. During the warmer months the large outdoor patio is well used. The large awning protects against rain and extreme heat. It may be mid September but we dined on the patio and so did everyone else.
The crusty bread is exceptional. It is hard to stop indulging in it. A carafe of Sangria was so enjoyable.
My son opted for 2 of the daily specials. The Soup of the Day was a creamy rich Avocado Soup.($8.00) It was filling and ever so tasty. He finished dining with a Calamares al Olivo.($13.95) this was supposed to be an appetizer portion but was extremely generous and perfectly prepared.
The Anticuchos are perfectly flavored brochettes. It is possible to order shrimp, beef or chicken. They are absolutely amazing. My daughter-in-law opted for the Chicken Anticuchos. They are marinated and grilled on a brochette. Potatoes or rice are offered. The potatoes were fried but were well worth every calorie. Large potato pieces were crispy on the outside and tender inside. A lovely green salad is also part of this reasonable dish. The chicken was moist and full of flavor from the marinating and the grill.($23.00) I usually order the Shrimp Anticuchos. You have a choice of 6 or 8. I couldn’t possible eat more than 6. They have that wonderful taste of the grill. Each shrimp was plump, flavorful and totally enjoyed. A small dish of sauce is presented with the Anticuchos. A song could be written about this sauce. It is composed of goat cheese, olive oil, garlic and parsley. There are probably other goodies as well. The flavor bursts on your tongue.dip each shrimp (or chicken piece) in the sauce. I also put it on my salad. Dare I say we went through three dishes of this sauce? It is remarkable.
At lunch time I usually order the Creole Salad or the Peruvian Salad. Both come with a Tarragon dressing that is so delicious you want to run your finger around the bowl.
The portions are generous in size and the bowl is filled with delicious fresh ingredients. The Grilled Daily Fish (market price) is always very special .On this occasion I noticed that three different types of fish were offered. Marlin was a tempting choice.
Try and save room for the Key Lime Pie. It was tart, creamy and melted on the tongue .It is the best in town. I salivate when I even think about it.
This is a favorite neighborhood restaurant. They do splendid brunches on the weekend. A small private room is available upstairs. I think I must have been one of the first customers when this place first opened up many years ago. I won’t say how long it is because it will certainly age me. I have continued to come back because the quality has remained. Each time I visit I extol the flavors and the fine preparation from this teeny tiny kitchen. Our family calls it a second home. I think the food here is better than my home.