True Talk: Cafe Cusco

Peruvian cuisine finds its home on historic C-Street
506f3fcc34c8dbf6e214bf493f6a2b435682dfc9 adam mcmullin 201931 m Written by Adam McMullin on June 01, 2017.

Springfield’s Cafe Cusco bills itself as a fun little café with recipes inspired by the healthy cuisine of Peru and the Andes Mountains. Mother and son owners Joseph and Claire Gidman opened the restaurant on historic C-Street in 2013 and it has quickly become a favorite foodie destination in Springfield. 

“It’s kind of a fusion of both Peruvian and American flavors,” said Joseph. “One of our most popular dishes is our Escebeche Wahoo. Wahoo is a meaty white fish from the Pacific, very similar to chicken in texture and flavor.” 

The wahoo is lightly battered and sautéed in zesty escabeche sauce with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and red peppers, aside garlic rice and topped with cilantro. 

“Another popular menu item is Lomo Saltado, is a very tradition dish from Peru,” added Joseph. “I call it the meatloaf of Peru.” 

Lomo Saltado is pan-seared steak tenderloin with red peppers, red onions and roma tomatoes in garlic, white wine and black soy sauce tossed with steak fries, oregano and cilantro aside garlic rice. 

A family enjoys Peruvian cuisine at Cafe Cusco in Springfield, Missouri.

The Gidmans say being on C-street is part of what makes their restaurant so unique. 

Cafe Cusco isn’t just by itself, it’s part of the historic Commercial Street (C-Street) district, which has a very strong merchant and neighbor community,” said Joseph. “A lot of people that work here, live here.”

Claire says she can’t imagine living or working anywhere but Springfield.

Traditional Peruvian cuisine at Cafe Cusco in Springfield, Missouri.

“I’ve lived in a lot of different big cities and I've also lived in the country and I think this is the best of both worlds,” she said. “We have everything here but we also have the peacefulness and the serenity of a country atmosphere.” 

Cafe Cusco also has an upstairs lounge and party room and a beautiful outdoor patio with an 80 foot Peruvian inspired tile mosaic and mural. They also offer a wide variety of gluten free and vegetarian options. 

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