I have read some amazing reviews and heard great things about Pisco’s on Southside. And I, having never had Peruvian food before, was excited to try something new. While I was not expecting a five-course meal here, Pisco’s definitely fell far below the mark of a good meal.
For starters, when DJ SnuggleMonster and I walked in on a Friday evening, we were shocked to find that only one other patron was eating there. I expected that a place with such great reviews in a busy part of town would have several diners there on a weekend evening. I also took note of the fact that the restaurant appeared to be last cleaned, oh, let’s say, three years prior. The chairs were sticky and dusty and food particles abounded on the table and floor (mind you, it appeared that no one had been in to eat in awhile). It was also concerning that there were several handwritten notes prohibiting pets in the store, along with bringing in your own drinks. I am not sure the cause that precipitated those warnings, but it definitely strikes one as odd.
Our waiter appeared as soon as we were seated in the empty dining room (which was quite large). He immediately asked us what we wanted to order, although we had not even gotten a chance to open a menu. He was very brusque and ignored us for the most part for the entire evening. Fine by me, I guess, since we didn’t need anything and he checked on us once. But I got the feeling that our presence irritated him, and he wanted nothing more than for us to leave.
The food was subpar to say the least. The food was far from piping hot, and more like lukewarm. I ordered the Lomo Saltado, a Peruvian classic, and one touted by Pisco’s as being one of their best-sellers. Lomo Saltado involves marinated beef and onions over french fries, and served with white rice. So, basically, a comfort food – but nothing outrageously fancy. My dish looked nothing like the menu photo, and in fact, looked like it had been slopped on the dish with little care – like a child had plated it. The portion looked quite small indeed, also, for a dish costing $13. The tomatoes seemed to be an afterthought, underripe and in huge slices so that one could not enjoy them. The onions were also not cooked through, and were somewhere between soggy and crunchy. The steak was tough and minimal. The french fries were so soggy and flavorless, they were pointless (with full understanding that french fries in a dish that requires toppings and sauces will make french fries slightly soggy). The rice also had no flavor, and appeared to be more filler than purposeful. The sauce tasted like straight soy sauce, with no additional flavoring, and there wasn’t much of it for the white rice to soak up.
DJ Snuggle Monster ordered the Peruvian Fried Rice, which tasted about as flavorful as the worst chinese take-out in the middle of a Montana small town that you could think of. There was no seasoning, it also tasted like nothing more than soy sauce, and the dish was also far from warm. Large squares of a tan item ran throughout the fried rice, but without any flavor or texture, it was hard to determine exactly what the ingredient was. Disturbing to say the least.
Pisco’s was the definition of a disappointment. DJSM and I got out of there as quickly as we could and I don’t think that we will be eating there anytime soon. Between the wait staff, the unclean dining area, and the lifeless food, I would hardly recommend any person from eating here without Pisco’s seriously revamping their establishment.