Restaurant Review: Palachinke

Palachinke specializes in home-style pancake dishes from the Old World, served up hot and fresh.

Lima is proud to boast the title of culinary mecca and as a top culinary destination worldwide. But through this whirlwind of recently opened 5 star restaurants and celebrity chefs, it is sometimes hard to remember the countless number of neighborhood restaurants that exist in the capital that are just as tasty and well planned, but without the large budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Believe it or not, Palachinke is family owned, has been operating for more than 30 years, and specializes in traditional European food from the central areas such as Switzerland and around. Although it is centrally located in the district of Miraflores, at the south end of Parque Kennedy, the restaurant has kept a low-key status despite popularity with many Limeños.

We recently visited their location in El Polo open-air shopping center in the Surco district, which is their second establishment and has been serving hungry diners for about 15 years. When we arrived to the restaurant, we were greeted by a friendly atmosphere, quaint and cozy decorations reminiscing of the Old World, checkered blue and white tablecloths, and heavy wooden chairs. The aroma of browning butter followed us to our table where we were greeted by our attentive waiter.

It was explained to us that palachinke translates into “pancake” in Hungarian, but when we saw the sheer size of our neighboring table’s order, we knew that this was no typical American breakfast pancake or French crepe, this was a meal in it of itself.

Palachinke’s ingredients are not so diverse, consisting of mostly cured meats like ham and salami and a limited variety of vegetables. However, under direction of Marie, the owner’s daughter, new creations and combinations are currently being explored such as the use of whole wheat dough and vegetarian options.

We were given the opportunity to overindulge in a recent addition to the menu: a pancake with hearts of palm. The pancake dough, which was surprisingly bouncy and moist rather than starchy and heavy, had diced chicken, cheese, and choclo (large, white-kerneled Peruvian corn) mixed into it, which is the essential technique here at Palachinke.

These monster pancakes can easily fill 2-3 people each!

Meanwhile, hearts of palm and creamy avocado were spread on top. If pushed for comparison, the pancake comes out as if a pizza, then rolled to create a truly delicious monster. The lightness of the avocado and heart of palms kept the large meal from being too overwhelming. Don’t forget to top your half (or third, if you are a lighter eater) with some of the Monnier family’s incredibly delectable garlic sauce, a recipe which they proudly protect.

If you are dining with others, we recommend sharing a savory and a sweet pancake to get the full Palachinke experience.

Dessert was just as intimidating: a slightly thinner pancake made in the same style, topped with Nutella, fresh strawberries, and candied pecans, perfect for kids!

All in all, if you are looking for a home-style and filling meal (that can be shared between 2-3 people) with classic toppings and techniques for a comfortable price, and that is different from anything else offered in Miraflores or Surco, then Palichinke is definitely worth a visit.

Shell 120, Miraflores; Phone: 447-2601
Centro Comercial El Polo, Surco; Phone: 437-7764 
Hours: 7 days a week, 1 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Savory Panqueques: S/. 31-45 
Sweet Panqueques: S/. 28-40 
Cold Panqueques: S/. 18
Additional toppings: 2-10 soles
Omelets: 23-30 soles
Cold sandwiches: 13-25 soles
Hot sandwiches: 17-25 soles
Salads: 13-25 soles
Traditional desserts: 8-20 soles
Juices & coffees: 12-15 soles
Beer, cocktails, and liquored coffees: 8-20 soles

This article was written by Jose Nunura, owner and expert local guide of Lima te Llena. Lima te Llena, which means “Lima fills you,” offers expertly led food and Peruvian chicha art day tours and workshops that let you see and experience Lima, Peru in authentic and alternative ways.