It was smart decision to open on busy Pine Island Road in the bright yellow strip center that's just west of Goodwill and across the street from bustling Mel’s Diner.
Peruvian cuisine, stands on its own as proudly as French, Chinese or Italian. It is a culinary amalgam forged from these and other cuisines, using the wonderful Peruvian peppers, potatoes and traditional spices in to its own cuisine. Most of the USA is still oblivious to Peruvian cuisine’s charms, however once introduced, it becomes a treasured cuisine to return to. I’ve sampled the cooking from its source, and have had great meals at Peruvian restaurants in the USA. Peruvian chefs do absolute magic with their spicing on meats, fish, shellfish and they excel at ceviches.
Aji limón is priced very reasonably (translate as ‘A steal!”) and has a good variety of foods at family friendly prices, perfect for dining in or take out.
Park in front and walk in. You are quickly greeted by a friendly server. Above and to the side are billboard menus with attractive photographs of the food that describe the ingredients.
Sides are in regular ($1.75 -3) or large size, and include my favorite fried yucca, sweet plantains, tostones, beans, rice, fried sweet potatoes, salad and garlic or onion potatoes. Soups are around $4.50, sandwiches $5, and sodas are only $1.25, with $0.50 reefils. Try a chicha morada, the classic purple corn juice! There’s domestic beer for $2, and also Pilsen, Cristal, Cuzquena, Corona and Henieken beers for just $2.75. I can come here for just the best beer prices in town! Wine is $3.75 small, and $12 for a large bottle.
Ceviches include shrimp ($11), fish (10), and mixed seafood (10.50)
I started my meal with the $10.50 seafood ceviche and got a large portion of various tender fish, calamari, shrimp, octopus, two large New Zealand Green mussels and red onions. It comes with a small salad, characteristic large toasted, salted corn kernels called cancha serrana.
My lomo saltado ($9.95) is stir fried in a wok before your eyes-if you come up to the counter, and peek into the kitchen. It’s a show to see!
There’s also family sized specialties to feed 4- 8 members inexpensively-I figure it is $5 for a large plateful of chicken, grilled steak, grilled pork, rice, beans and fries. At the counter are free samples of different sauces or salsas to try: hot (looks like a rocoto chili), huacatay (“ 'wah-kah-tie' “ a mint-basil tasting herb), a pale green garlic and others.
Aji Límon’s food is a solid example of Peruvian cuisine at wonderfully inexpensive prices for the quality. It is not gourmet quality Peruvian as at Naples Inca’s Kitchen, however the price points are quite reasonable at each spot. The only thing I missed was Peru’s national drink, the pisco sour, a white grape brandy. They don’t have full liquor license. Aji Límon appears as if this can be readily groomed in to a popular chain, like the Cuban Pollo Tropical. The setting is simple perfect for lunch or dinner, but not the place to impress a first date, unless it’s for a Peruvian food lover! I live in Naples, so it’s perfect for take out when I’m in the area.
It’s open 7 days a week, 11 am to 10 pm., at 1480 NE Pine Island Road, Cape Coral, phone 424-8216