I've been eagerly awaiting an opportunity to try Cafe Cusco, and I finally had a chance at lunch today. The friend that I was meeting was running late, so I ordered the Fritas la Huancaina appetizer and a yerba matte while I waited. I didn't even know that yerba mate was ever served iced, so I was suprised when it arrived that way, especially since the restaurant's logo seems to feature prominently a traditional gourd and straw for hot yerba mate. But what the hey, the iced yerba mate was good. The fritas la huancaina were ok. This is a dish of fried sweet potatoes and yukon gold potatoes covered in cheese sauce, topped with pickled onions and an olive. Basically, it was a platter of cheese fries. The cheese sauce had a delicious flavor, but the texture was a little grainy. At least I'm fairly certain that the potatoes are cut in-house due to the irregularity of the sizes they were cut into. Some were typical steak-fry cut, some were 2"x2"x4" log-o-taters.
My friend arrived and we ordered from the lunch menu - a limited offering for $7.99, which was appealing since the entrees we were interested in were $18.00. Our entrees arrived quickly and were delicious, and the proportions were good for lunch.
Throughout the meal our waitress was attentive, professional, and courteous. The big surprise came after the meal. My friend and I paid separately. I paid with cash and my friend paid with plastic, so I was the only one who received any change. My change was almost ALL in the form of loose change - over two dollars in coins! I received one dollar bill, one quarter, and literally a handful of dimes and nickels! There was just no reason for the waitress to do that unless they were out of ones, quarters, and dimes! I would have tipped better if it hadn't been for the needless excessive change situation, but I just left that pound of coins for her.
The food was good enough that I'll definitely go back. Also, the decor is really great.