Their slogan is "where anything can be transformed into a hamburger", and that should have been our first clue. Our second clue was the burger-covered menu. Burgers with meat, burgers without meat, burgers with every kind of vegetable, every kind of fruit, and every combination of the above.
The one thing that WAS authentic about Papacho's was their portions. Served true-to-Peru, the Chanchito was a crispy, skin-and-fat side of half a hog. Savory met sweet with a chunky, smoothie-style mango chutney, and the side of yucca is surprisingly well-seasoned. I have no complaints about the Chanchito, but a burger might have been more memorable.
All that salty pork was making me thirsty, and there was my excuse to try La Tierna. Strawberry and passionfruit were an infallible combination, but this too-sugary smoothie made me feel like I was ordering off the kids' menu from my booster seat.
When in Peru...I’m still sucker for wings. The Charapitas were "bathed in the Amazon's most sinful flavors," and I was just drowning in the indescribable, never-
I fully expected to hate Papacho's because I just can’t be a foreign-hamburger fan, but they still had me impressed. Their burgers do play it safe for the tourists, but their flavors are fresh, their combinations are new, and there's no doubt they can deliver a damn good plate of food.