Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Santiago: Good, Bad, Strange, and Really Bad

Did some restauranting.  With the EYM here in his new home, Santiago.  Los Condes, actually.  Some quick thoughts.

1.  Tiramisu.  Really, really good pizza.  Everything is good.  Everything.  Pricey, but good.  Service is good.  Room is beautiful.  It's good.  That's what I'm saying here:  Good.

2.  Fragola.  Dessert place.  Again, beautiful, all good.  But the kuchen de nuez may be the best dessert I have ever had.  All time, no qualifications.  The best.  Astonishing.  More generally, though, you simply cannot go wrong with Fragola.

3.  Black Rock Pub.  Odd.  Strange, in fact. In a very good way.  The publican is a bear of a man, an Aussie.  Loves beer, loves to talk about beer.  Has big selection of Chilean artisenal beers, more than you will find....anywhere, actually.  Interesting some of them are not that great, though some are.  His philosophy:  If you can buy it at Jumbo, we don't carry it.  You'll like it.  Happy Hour prices are good, and Happy Hour lasts until 22:00 (it's Santiago...)

4.  "Fresh"  Empanadas at Lider.  (Lider is mid-scale grocery store).  Not health food.  And bad, in a way.  But also good.  Still warm.  Tasty, comfort food.

5.  Astoria.  Comida Peruana.  VERY expensive, by Chilean standards.  We had trio de cebiches (outstanding).  Then the EYM had a turbot entero (a whole turbot, a flounder-like fish, huge, with skin and head still on.  Vegetables, some cooked seaweed, and a chaufa on the side.  Excellent.  I had, as always, the skewers of corazon (beef heart), which came with some slightly mashed roasted potatoes.  The food was great.  For dessert, we had custard/quinoa and ice cream combo.  Sounds weird, was delicious.  And espresso.  But, do NOT go to Astoria.  The service was TERRIBLE.  Not sure why, in Chile, where there are "guards" everywhere and thousands of people paid to do basically nothing, this place couldn't get decent help.  Our waitron was awful:  ranging from hostile to indifferent to inattentive.  The delivery of dishes was just rude.  We had to beg to get her to let us order anything, and when we did it took a very long time to get.  The worst (it's a bad sign that I was timing it, but I was, at this point) was the dessert.  We ordered dessert and espresso.  The dessert came 12 minutes later.  Fair enough, not fast, but okay.  The espressos came 22 minutes AFTER THAT, and were cold.  32 minutes to get espresso.  Then, $97 for the two of us, and we had just one drink, a pisco sour (which was very good, by the way).  So, the food was fine, but the service was so terrible and rude it ruined the experience.  And for the money, there are lots of Peruvian places (La Mar, El Chelan, etc.) that are better.  Do. not. go. to. Astoria.  Awful.

1 comment:

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