“They’ve got grilled beef hearts, marinated Peruvian style,” my coworker mentioned one morning. We knew then and there where lunch would be at that day. We had to make our way over to Casselberry to check this little Peruvian place, El Buzo.
I first heard about El Buzo from the venerable Faiyaz Kara of the Orlando Weekly, who had visited and reviewed the Peruvian restaurant for the Weekly’s dining review section and found it to be quite good. A dear friend and co worker of mine also read the piece and requested a lunch time excursion to visit the little restaurant hidden in a strip mall in Casselberry.
El Buzo, which means “the diver”, is run by husband and wife team who man the tiny, open kitchen area and churn out these authentic, wonderful Peruvian seafood dishes that they prepare to order with the freshest fish, possibly caught by Chef Bruno himself. When dining here, you can see that the owner-chef, who was a deep sea diving champion and fishermen in Peru, excels in these “comida del mar,” where his love for the sea translates onto the plate.
Our dining party starts off with some of the anticuchos ($6.95), Peruvian style grilled beef hearts, succulent and savory with a nice texture, and some of the pulpo al olivo ($8.95), octopus covered in a olive-cream sauce, served with a side of saltine crackers. Crackers aside, these little morsels of olive flavored octopus were superb, with layers of olive and octopus flavors mingling on the tip of the tongue. I could probably order this every time.
We also order a plate of the ceviche de pescado ($9.95) , a national dish of Peru, with sashimi style grouper fish marinated in lime juices and onions, served with lettuce, sliced red onions, and of course the Peruvian staple of corn.
My co-workers order the Lomo Saltado ($9.95), a stir-fried dish – a dish influenced by Peruvian-Chinese – of beef strips and sliced onions, tomatos, and french fries, and also the filete de pescado ($9.95), a pan fried filet of grouper served with white rice and salad. I sampled some and found the fish to be very fresh and tasty, much like the other seafood dishes here.
My dish, which came out last and near the end of the meal as my companions were finishing, was the causa de camarones ($7.95), a shrimp salad rolled up in yellow whipped sheets of potato and pepper and lime. The causa came out late, I suspect, due to the lack of kitchen staff available to assist during the lunch hour. The dish was very good though – creamy, fresh and refreshingly light – which made up for the delay.
Definitely try the authentic Peruvian dishes, particularly the seafood dishes, at El Buzo. And maybe call and order ahead for lunch if you are in a hurry.
Chef Bruno at the helm
Ceviche de pescado, a national dish of Peru, with sashimi style grouper fish marinated in lime juices and onions, served with lettuce, sliced red onions, and of course the Peruvian staple of corn.
Pulpo al olivo ($8.95), octopus covered in a olive-cream sauce, served with a side of saltine crackers
Anticuchos – Peruvian style grilled beef hearts
Lomo Saltado – stir fried beef and french fries
Grilled grouper fish filet
Causa de camarones – a creamy, fresh shrimp salad rolled in yellow sheets of potato