Saturday, June 30, 2007

Catching up, pt 1 (South America)

I could just start posting pictures as I go, but than I would be missing out on all sorts of fun stuff. So, before launching into more recent food adventures, here are some greatest hits from the last couple of years.

This isn't the most flattering picture of me, but really, the dish in front of me was just too goodto leave out. It's called...I can't remember, but it is probably the best late night/early morning food EVER. The place we went to, in Valparaiso, Chile, is allegedly the best place in the whole country for this stuff. The dish consists of a large plate of fries with a greasy mixture of egg, friend onions, and thinly sliced steak heaped on top of it. The grease and starch in this dish would be just perfect after a long night with the bottle. Unfortunately, when we went to the restaurant, it was pretty early and we were both sober, so we didn't really get to enjoy this dish as I think it was truly meant to be enjoyed.

Back in Santiago, Abby took me to a little Pervian place that was a favorite lunch spot. This was one of her favorites.
Abby says Chinese people will eat anything, and then she goes and eats a Guinnea Pig (they call them cuy in Peru) to prove it. They're really quite cute when they aren't fried like that.

See? They're cute, right?

They also don't look so great when they're roasted. Here are a couple of roasted cuy sitting in a basket with some chickens, sausages, some type of seaweed, and some sort of bread. We were fortunate enough to be in Cusco during the Corpus Cristo festival, when it is traditional to serve chiriuchu, the dish below. The streets were packed with stalls selling this stuff. It sort of an eat at your own risk thing, but none of us got sick. At least, not from the chiriuchu.

After Peru, Abby and I made a quick stop through Santiago on our way to Argentina, where we
had some incredible food and wine. Our favorite place was a little steak house called La Cabrera in the Palermo Viejo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Argentina is alleged to have some
of the best cattle in the world, and this place was recommended as one of the best places to get steak in the city. It did not disappoint. Everything - the meat, the side dishes, the wine, the service, the atmosphere - was fantastic. The concept for the dishes was something that I actually had never seen before. When you get the menu, all it has is a list of different cuts of meat. To round out the meal, you get several little side dishes that are really quite good. We ordered a strip stake, short ribs, and chorizo. The chorizo was probably the best I've ever had. Actually, I could say that about the steaks as well. Some of the side dishes include pickled celery, celariac and potato puree, pickled garlic and shallots, endives, chimichurri sauce, and several others. We liked it so much that we went back the next night. One of the dishes that we got the second night was a loin chop encrusted with thyme and grilled. I almost always put thyme on my steaks now. I really think that this restaurant alone is reason enough to hop on a plane down to Buenos Aires.

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