In an unassuming, off-the-beaten-path area of Barranco, you will find El Viejo Fundo (The Old Farm), a large yet modest establishment tucked away in a neighborhood filled with factories and auto shops. It may not be the easiest restaurant to locate, but thankfully there were a couple of well-placed signs in the vicinity that led us to the front door. Parking is available as well.
The premises are rather large. I noticed that larger groups from local offices were enjoying lunch when we arrived. The restaurant can accommodate intimate groups, larger office crowds and private parties of practically any size. The private room seats up to 70 people and the regular dining room seats approximately 80. The entire restaurant has the capacity to seat up to 250 people.
Viejo Fundo has been open for six years and specializes in meats and pastas. Argentinean and American beef are both available. The restaurant is also known for generous servings. Viejo Fundo has a steady lunch crowd during the weekdays, but Friday, Saturday and Sunday you will find more people in attendance in the evening. Some of the most popular dishes that are ordered during the weekends are the parrilla platters for two, three or four people to share.
The grilled platter for three people that was delivered to a nearby table contained a variety of chorizo (fresh sausage), bife angosto (strip loin steak), pork chops, morcilla (blood sausage) and chicken legs. The price for this platter is 100 soles, which I consider very reasonable considering the amount of grilled meats on this platter. In fact, I found most of the dishes listed on the menu to be quite reasonable and perfect for anyone that is budget-conscious.
There is literally something for everybody on the menu. If you are not in the mood for Viejo Fundo\‘s meat and pasta specialties, you can choose from soups, salads, chicken and fish. I even noticed that they offer a carpaccio of ostrich, beef tenderloin or salmon. The menu also offers a variety of skewers offering anticucho of beef heart and a variety of innards such as rinones (kidneys), mollejas (sweetbreads), chinchulines (intestines) and, shockingly, even criadillas (bull testicles). I admit that many years ago I was served Rocky Mountain oysters (another name for bull testicles) in a Denver restaurant and I found them to be edible, but definitely not for the faint of heart.
On this particular day, we shared the tacu tacu con lomo saltado, which was a fulfilling dish and perfect for those with a hearty appetite. This is a dish to share. In my opinion, when preparing any lomo saltado, only tender beef should be used such as beef tenderloin, lomo fino or the equivalent. Viejo Fundo did not disappoint and the lomo fino was both tender and juicy. The tacu-tacu (a combination of leftover rice and beans, seasoned with onions, garlic and hot pepper and then fried to a crispy texture) was the perfect accompaniment to the lomo saltado.
The bife angosto con ravioles relleno con verduras (strip loin steak with vegetable-filled ravioles) was substantial and a dish that could also be easily shared between two people. We especially loved this dish because the ravioles were bathed in the ever-popular salsa andina (similar to huancaina sauce). I incorporate this wonderful spicy cheese sauce with yellow aji peppers into many of the dishes I prepare in my own home; it’s one of my favorite Peruvian sauces! The combination of the steak and the ravioles in the sauce were perfect.
When the large portion of crema volteada (flan) arrived at the table for dessert we were uncertain that we would be able to try more than a couple of bites, but this simple, yet very creamy flan was so delicious that we were able to polish it off.
What I really enjoyed about the cuisine at Viejo Fundo was the simplicity of the food. The plates were not intimidating, but rather just good, tasty food at reasonable prices.
Restaurante Viejo Fundo
Av. Republica de Panama 201
Open for lunch & dinner
Lunch Hours: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Dinner Hours: 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
First Courses: 14-30 soles
Grilled Appetizers: 12-38 soles
Grilled Meats: 40-70 soles
Chicken: 20-35 soles
Pasta Dishes: 24-38 soles
Fish/Seafood: 13-40 soles
Desserts: 9-20 soles