Cheap Eats 2008: La Limena

Why go: The plastic plates and utensils may say fast food, but the cooking at this modest Peruvian/Cuban outfit often befits white tablecloths and cutlery.

What to get: Anticuchos, marinated, salted beef hearts threaded on skewers and grilled; the creamy soup known as chupe, a thick broth teeming with rice, corn, cheese, potato, onion, and shrimp and topped by a poached egg; Peruvian-style ceviche, the fish cut thin and surrounded by sweet potatoes and hunks of corn on the cob; rotisserie chicken; the breadless sandwich known as causa, in which a rich chicken salad is slathered between two rectangles of soft-cooked potato.

Best for: Those with an appetite for adventure—and a big appetite. An order of anticuchos comes with half a fried potato and a salad—an approximation of a steak dinner for about eight bucks.

Insider tip: Resist the allure of the display case in the front; the cooked-to-order food is what soars.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants 

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.