A Wonderful Dinner, and La Copa Mundial
Juan Pablo took us to an Argentine restaurant, "Don Carlos," for dinner. Three words: Tree. Men. Dos. Stupendo. Wonderful.
The EYM gets to order the vino tinto (he's 20, drinking age here is 18). He orders a Gran Tarapaca syrah (about $10 the bottle, btw, nice). Waiting for the wine, we order a round of Peruvian-style Pisco Sours. Yum, and here's to you, Senor Pizarro.
For food, we order some sausage, prieta and chorizo, and some terrific empanadas and a round of provoleta (fried cheese with tomatoes). (Yes, prieta is Chilean blood sausage. It is AMAZING. Tyler C., eat your heart out: I had prieta, and you didn't! Just deal with that.)
Then, salads. I wanted paltas (avocado) and we all had some version of tomatoes. The avocado was okay, but not outstanding.
Then, meat. This is an Argentino restaurant, and that means meat. I had wanted goat, which in Mexico is cabrito but here in Chile is called chivito. But they were out, so I had to settle for lamb. Best lamb I have ever had. Tender, grilled and salty, melts in your mouth. Like meat lollipops. Outstanding. The EYM has chicken, and Juan Pablo orders a meal fit for Fred Flintstone: a huge breaded piece of beef, and a vat of papas fritas. He struggles manfully, and defeats the meat, but is lost for the rest of the evening.
The EYM and I, having only NORMALLY overeaten, were ready for postre. And there were some strange desserts. We went for it: The EYM ordered "zapillitos en almibar," which the menu describes as "tiny pumpkins in syrup." WTF? And I ordered "Postre Vigilante," the batata y queso dessert.
The zapillitos en almibar turned out to be delicious, but essentially inedible. Not sure how to describe it. The little squares of pumpkin - sugar reduction were something between the consistency of crytallized honey and fudge, though pumpkin flavored. And they were resting in a thick simple syrup, also pumpkin flavored. One bite and the EYM was saying "yum!" Three bites, and he couldn't eat any more, having lapsed into a hyperglycemic coma.
My sweet potato dessert, slices of thick candied sweet potato on thick slices of cheese, was a classic Argentino dessert. (here, in Spanish). Wonderfully simple, the contrast in textures of cheese and dessert, and the contrast in sweetness and creaminess from the cheese. Very nice.
Then, cappuccino all around. Cappuccino a bit watery, but okay.
Of course, we were watching the finals of la Copa Mundial. The restaurant is only three blocks from the Embassy del Pais de Espana, which was rocking. The game was really quite boring, except for the specialist viewer (pretty much everyone south of Nuevo Laredo). But AFTER the game: the restaurant erupts in cheers, and clapping.
Walking home, past the Spanish Embassy, we could hear the cheering and yelling inside. The hard-eyed caribineros out front almost smiled, I think. People were blowing horns (car horns, though we did see some vuvuzelas sticking out of car windows), and waving Spanish and Chilean flags out the windows of cars and apartments. There was a distinctive celebratory horn blow pattern: Beepbeep... Beepbeepbeep (2, 3, repeated over and over).
I took a movie of the cars on the Avenida Apoquindo. You can hear the horns (this went on for hours, sometimes dozens at once), and you can see, at the end, an entrepreneur selling Spanish national flags. There were dozens of these guys on the street, within minutes of game's end.
And I took a picture out the window of the hotel, looking west on Apoquindo. The light looks funny, because I set the shutter for 1 second because it was getting dark.
On the way home, we noticed a large building, just a bit west of the hotel. Quiet, darkened, high gates. Turns out to be the.... Dutch Embassy. Heh. Heh heh. Maybe the Dutch Ambassador had gone to the party at the Spanish Embassy, to pay off his bet.
Time for Mr. Nappy now. A tiring day.