In Inca mythology, Pachamama is a goddess who presides over planting, fertility and harvesting. In fact, the term Pachamama is usually translated as Mother Earth.
With this in mind, it is no surprise that our own Pachamamas restaurant here in Lawrence is full of fresh, local ingredients, with an emphasis on seasonality and sustainability. I visited this classic establishment with my own mama while she was in town, and we had a hay day with the unique options and satisfying dishes.
Pachamamas’ menu is designed around “New American Market Cuisine” which, according to their website, is essentially a way of cooking that blends flavors from America’s melting pot with traditional techniques. And with a menu that changes seasonally, you never know what to expect! I enjoy a restaurant that can shake things up just as much as I enjoy those that are known for their signature items.
Speaking of shaking things up, have you ever had shrimp and grits swiss chard parcels accompanied by jalapeno peanut butter and a slice of radish atop a baguette? That’s just one example of the astonishing creations that are produced at Pachamamas. And yes, we did order that. We also ordered the 8th Street Mac “N” Cheese, the Baked Brie Cheese and the Seafood Croquette Wrap, all to share. And of course, we had to have wine with our lunch (I told you we had a hay day).
The plates we ordered were almost too perfect to touch; the presentation here is polished and colorful. The brie was served with dark berry preserves, the mac ’n’ cheese arrives cloaked with a fried egg, the seafood wrap is grilled to perfection with bits of artichoke and pickled onion peering out from within. It was ambrosial and zesty.
In the past, I’ve thought of Pachamamas as the place to go only for celebrations. It always seemed a bit too upscale for a simple Friday lunch or dinner date. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so happy to be wrong — not only was our lunch affordable, but the food presentation and taste is too wonderful to save just for special occasions.
Our three small plates were only $6 each, and the seafood wrap was $11. Mom picked up the check, but I assure you it was no more than $50 (including wine). Though the menu changes seasonally (it just changed in early October), the mac ’n’ cheese is still listed (gooooo get it!).
Enjoy our local Pachamamas — it surely is Mother Earth at her finest.
— Jessica Pauly, aka Mrs. Mass., gives her thoughts on shopping, urban living and what’s new in Lawrence in CheckOut weekly and on her blog, mrsmass.com.