First impression: Some people come for a taste of home. Others for a taste of something new. Bravo is a no-fuss, order-from-the-counter Peruvian joint that won't disappoint. The specialty is oversize sandwiches that are equal parts Peruvian and big-appetite American.
Ambience: Dennis and Vanesa Quiroz's 55-seat fast-casual eatery is painted bright red and set with metal tables and chairs. Decoration consists of little more than TVs perpetually set to soccer. A big cooler of beverages includes ice-cold Cristal ($3.75), one of the most-popular lagers in Peru.
Starters: Beef or chicken empanadas ($2.95) are piping hot and dusted with powdered sugar. Papa rellena ($5.50) — a deep-fried orb of mashed potatoes filled with ground beef, onions, olives and a hard-boiled egg — is a nice introduction to the wonders of Peruvian cuisine. It arrives hot from the deep fryer. The appetizer section of the menu also includes ceviche ($10.95), tamales ($4.25) and yuca frita ($4.50), one of Bravo's most-popular dishes judging by the number of orders we saw come from the kitchen.
Sandwiches: Even simple roasted turkey breast ($7.95) gets a Peruvian makeover, with the addition of criolla sauce, olives and spicy rocoto sauce. Lomo saltado ($8.50) starts with strips of beef tenderloin sauteed with onions and tomatoes. This being South Florida, there's also a Cuban sandwich ($7.50) and a Bravo Burger ($7.50) with cheese, ham, egg, lettuce, mayonnaise and shoestring potatoes.
Entree excellence: Lomo saltado ($10.95) is available in its traditional non-sandwich form, served with white rice and French fries. It can also be had with chicken ($9.95). Tallarines verdes con bistec ($10.95) isn't unlike pasta with pesto. Here, spaghetti is tossed with a green sauce of basil and spinach and then topped with grilled steak. The several seafood preparations include pescado a lo macho ($13.50), a squid-heavy mixture of seafood in a creamy white sauce. The squid was overdone, and the dish is usually much more spicy than the version served here.
Sweet! Crema volteada ($3.50), which translates to "upside-down cream," is what Peruvians call flan. The version here is densely creamy with a dark-caramel-colored top. Be sure to try Peru's original smoothie: The surtido ($3.95) is dairy-free, but tastes like creamy whipped milk from the combination of blended ice and tropical fruits.
Service: Two young women take your order and bring it to your table. It takes some time for food to arrive, a good sign that everything is cooked to order. If you know nothing about Peruvian food, the staff will help guide you through the menu.
2925 NE Sixth Ave., Wilton Manors
Hours: Lunch and dinner daily (closes at 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday)
Reservations: Not accepted
Credit cards: D, MC, V
Bar: Beer and wine
Sound level: Conversational
Outside smoking: No
For kids: Highchairs
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Parking: Free lotCopyright © 2015, South Florida