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Side Dish: Parada’s Alfajores

A Welcome Reprieve.


Nicholas Boer

Last year I discovered alfajores—South American shortbread stuffed with dulce de leche—at Sabores del Sur, a little Chilean cafe in Walnut Creek. Dusted in powdered sugar, the homestyle cookies have a kind of newborn innocence: milky, buttery, tender, and delicious. So last week when I saw them once more on the dessert menu at Parada, a vibrant new Peruvian restaurant in Walnut Creek, I breathed a sigh of relief. The food at Parada is fantastic but it’s also bold and challenging with dishes such as beef heart and baby octopus. So the alfajores, so simple and so comforting, acted as a salve to my overexcited palate. Their arrival on a small plate with summer fruit was as sweet and welcome as a short afternoon nap after a particularly trying and productive morning.

7001 Sunne Ln., Walnut Creek, (925) 448-8118, paradakitchen.com. Dinner daily.