Walking home from school last night, I happened upon this impressive food stand. I haven’t got it clear yet, but usually when these stands have a reputation, people start to refer to them as huariques, small and unique local gastronomical institutions. This one had a line of about 15 people waiting to be served and every passerby stopped to take a fascinated look at the setup (Middle-Eastern food is not that common here). First time I saw it. On each side of the stand was a blazing vertical kebab grill, one for chicken and one for carne (lamb or beef). They were three manning the ship: one handling money, taking orders, organizing the space and assisting the others, the man in the middle was flattening and roll-pinning flatbread dough to order (!), and the gentleman in the chef’s coat handled the spit, rubbed each pita on the meat before lightly grilling it, cut the meat and assembled each kebab roll with a topping of shaved lettuce and a dash of garlic yoghurt sauce.
At first they were afraid of me taking photographs: they had already been forced to move from their previous licensed spot and thought that I could be from the shopping plaza authorities. Once I assured them that I was but an amateur Canadian photographer though, they welcomed me to take more. When came my turn to be served, the chef muttered something in Arabic to the cash-handler and he refused to accept more than 4 soles for my 7 soles (~$2.50) chicken kebab. Then I even received an upgraded “mixed” kebab! I tried to insist on a full purchase, but they practically sent me off, to mutual laughter. I gave them my card and offered to take more pictures and print them free of charge. Everyone was looking by then, so when I loudly exclaimed how delicious it was, the crowed giggled with a smirk of que loco el gringo! I suppose the testament to how juicy, flavourful and succulently good it was is that I forgot to take a picture. I really admire the entrepreneurial spirit and dedication of these street vendors. These guys had all come from Egypt no less to share their food with us!