Peruvians may have been eating it for millennia, but ceviche didn’t get its international moment in the spotlight until the last couple of years, when variations on the lime-marinated fish theme popped up on restaurant menus all over the world. Killa, a frontrunner in São Paulo’s ceviche stakes, cashed in on that last year, upscaling to a bigger space, with bigger fish to, er, marinate.
In its place – a dimunitive corner spot in Perdizes – Killa’s owner is now paying homage to a less glamorous Peruvian staple: the sandwich. La Sanguchería, with its bright, new, yellow façade (the décor inside has barely changed since the Killa days) serves up a choice of eight or so sandwiches plus hot snacks – all laid out on a handy placemat menu.
On clement days, park up at a table on the sidewalk, the stomping ground for the Perdizes yummy mums and dads, ambling past with tots and preened pooches.
Hearty sandwich fillings include pork ribs with sweet potato, and the comforting ‘primo del atlántico’ with crunchy, golden chunks of fried manjubinha fish served with crispy lettuce, mayonnaise and red onion, bookended by ciabatta.The triple clássico – crustless soft white bread alternating colourful slices of avocado, tomato and egg – was good, though didn’t equate to more than the sum of its parts.
Peru’s neighbours are the inspiration for the hot snacks, with salteñas – Bolivian-style empanadas – and dense chicken-stuffed corn tamales – both a delight, though little more than two mouthfuls each. Homemade sauces, such as ají chilli or black olive, add an extra flavour dimension.
If the petite sandwiches haven’t filled you up, there’s always dessert. Though before you know it you’ll have spent R$25 – for good, humble food, at not so humble prices.