Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wrapping Up Lima

Lima is a great place for a visit, especially if you like to dine well. We would happily return.

We split our stay between two Hilton properties, the Miraflores Hilton and El Pardo Doubletree. There is no question that the Hilton is the better of the two properties. There were one or two aspects of the Doubletree that were downright quirky, but we would certainly stay there again if the rate was significantly cheaper than the Hilton's.

Our one weak dining experience did occur at the Doubletree our final night, after returning late (for us) from those magic fountains. Other than the food and the service, it all went well. We've enjoyed some good meals in hotel restaurants, despite generally trying to avoid them. This wasn't one of those times. 

The Doubletree contains two full-service restaurants. They are described on the website as "The Lobby restaurant offering comfort food for lunch and dinner, and cafeteria La Terraza with an open terrace ready for the summer." We preferred the Terraza (and it's not a cafeteria) but the Lobby was the only place open Sunday night and we decided to eat in when we returned around 8:30.

The waiter was nice but essentially clueless. He sat us down, handed us menus, and returned in about a minute to take our orders. We told him we'd like to enjoy our complimentary Pisco Sours first before ordering and he retreated to get those.

We must have scared him because it was subsequently hard to attract his attention. We decided to share an appetizer and a main, but he warned us that it wouldn't be enough so we reluctantly ordered a second main course.

We tried to order a half-bottle of wine (an Argentine Malbec) that was listed as such on their wine list, but the waiter told us they didn't usually sell wines in half-bottles. We then ordered a glass of wine. When it arrived, there was barely enough left in the bottle for two glasses, and a taste let us know it hadn't stored that well overnight (or maybe several nights?).

We then showed him the half-bottle on the menu and he immediately said that was a great idea and brought us one. We asked at one point how long he'd been working in the restaurant and it wasn't too long, so he probably just didn't know the menu.

The second main we ordered was a Thai chicken dish. We told him we would like it spicy, but when it arrived it was completely without spice.

Despite all this, we grimly decided to order the free dessert that had also been included in our welcome package.

We waited a long time for that, and there wasn't much to it when it arrived. The young waiter had gone off shift, and the other waiter delivered it to us grimly, as if somebody had told him we were tough customers.

All in all, a forgettable two and a half hour (!) - or an evening we'd like to forget.

Still, we need an experience like that every so often, just to make us better appreciate all the good experiences. 

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