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Colonia del Sacramento

Getting there and Eats

sunny 12 °C

Colonial del Sacramento Uruguay

Decided to take a ferry over to Uruguay for the night. The other option is by bus; however it was a 12 hour night bus going to a worst location for about the same price. $35US each way. There are 2 city options by ferry; Colonial Del Sacramento and Montevideo which is a bit further and a little more expensive of a ride. When I looked them both up neither one seemed like destinations I just couldn’t live without, so I chose the cheaper option. There are at least 2 ferry companies that make the route. Colonial Express and Buquebus. Colonial is by far the cheapest and prices seem to vary widely depending on how you search. I found that if you go directly to the website https:\\coloniawxpress.com you could find the cheapest rates. They offer one way for about 900AP ($21US) however they were sold out of the cheapest option for my dates. I ended up getting a round trip for about $65US while most all-in-one ferry ticket searches were asking $84US for the round trip to colonial and $98 to Montevideo. Apparently if you go to the ticket counter in person the cheap tickets can still be found after they’ve disappeared on the internet.

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I must admit I was a bit pleasantly surprised at the beauty and quaintness of the town upon arrival. It’s quite gorgeous and I saw one of the prettiest sunsets in all of the year and a half I’ve been traveling now. After reading reviews of the place and the food I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. Maybe it was the lowered expectations that made it seem a little better. The reviews state expensive food that isn’t good and absolutely nothing to do. They are right about not much to do; however arriving with that mindset kind of put me in the mood to just relax.

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The best way to relate the town is that it’s kind of a cruise ship kind of town that caters to high volumes of tourists arriving by ferry daily. However, it was winter and slow season. Key West is a small cruise ship town and like Colonial has tourist traps with high priced bad food. That doesn’t mean there’s no good deals or tasty food to be found.

Don Peperone: my first food stop in Uruguay. I hadn’t read any reviews and it was rather early for me to be hungry (11am) however I needed something to eat so after strolling around a good part of the town checking out menus I pulled in here. The place was empty however all the tables were nicely set with an L shaped dining room and a small courtyard. It was chilly outside so we sat at a table inside near the bar. The waiter came over; handed us the menus and told us pizza couldn’t be ordered until after 1pm. Oddly enough I was in the mood for a pizza; however I settled on the Peperone Hamburgeusa. I was just being told back at the hotel by somewhat of a local that the food sucked in town and the fries are always undercooked. The burger arrived fairly soon after we ordered it and it looked amazing. I’ll include a picture on the blog. Wow, it really surprised me with its presentation stacked high all kept together by a toothpick with a rounded tomato on top. It had cheese, an egg, marmalade, creole mustard and a good sized patty. It looked intimidating to keep together. All in all it didn’t disappoint and the fries were plentiful and perfectly cooked. Burger and fries 320UP (just under $9US). Oh, and then you get to take off 18% for paying with a credit card. I’m guessing the currency must be fickle because everywhere in town offered about 20% off if you used a card. Fine by me, because the exchange rates were terrible for the Argentinian peso.

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Napo: After the pleasantly surprising lunch I really debated on where and what to eat for my only dinner here. After walking to several places to check out the atmosphere and menus I rescinded on this little Italian pizza place. I arrived at 7:55 to find locked doors. The waiter pointed to his watch through the glass door. So, I waited with another couple outside for the necessary 5 minutes. The doors opened and I walked in and found a seat near a window and was handed a menu. Within 3 minutes all tables in the small place were filled and I knew I had picked the right place. I took the waitresses suggestion on a pizza that is 10” in diameter and I ordered a half bottle of wine since they didn’t offer cups. It came rather quickly with generous sauce and really fresh basil leaves scattered about with a huge ball of freshly made mozzarella smack dab in the middle of the pizza. I dug in. The crust was well prepared, cooked and was really fresh as well. More and more people crowded in as I ate to the point there was a line starting to form. The two guys in the kitchen were fast because the line never got long; yet there were no empty tables. After credit card discount (apparently you get 18-20% discount if you use a card, must have to do with the exchange rates) and adding tip $75UP it came out to be $689UP for a good sized fresh pizza and a half bottle of wine. ($18US)

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Faro/Lighthouse: apparently the main attraction in town. 111 steps to the top and has the best view of the town. Looks like it got crowded around sunset; yet there are countless restaurants with great seats on the coast for sunset. And no, Colonial doesn’t actually have a coastline it’s a river bank, it just happens to be a river that 110km wide. The lighthouse fees are as follows: 30 Uruguay pesos or 69 Argentinian

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Bortolot: stopped in for a late night cheesecake and coffee. The two girls behind the counter were cheerful and very friendly. Cheesecake was light with an almost yellow cake consistency. A very different cheesecake to say the least. Wasn’t bad; just strange to me. The strawberry topping was quite tasty and super fresh. I’m not a coffee connoisseur so I’ll just say it tasted like coffee.

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There’s a piano bar in town I wanted to check out; the doors were still locked at 10pm on Friday night. Maybe it’s because of the slow season. There was also a pub/dance club that looked interesting it was just a bit further than I felt like walking after dinner and dessert. All in all I think it could have some decent nightlife during busy season.

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Posted by Veritas2377 15:49 Archived in Uruguay Tagged boats food sunset travel ferry foodie Comments (0)

Santiago/Viña Del Mar/ Valparaíso

Mainly Eats

sunny 11 °C

So, I was only in Chile 5 days yet still managed to fit in quite a few must try’s in the food arena.

First up Santiago. Just for reference everyone should know that when arriving in a new town I like to walk around the first day and get a feel for the city. I just stop at any place that looks interesting and usually places I can get in and out of quickly. So, I’m walking down the street and see an unusual amount of people crowded in this small shop called Tip Top. I managed to get a photo with a few people standing in front as I could so you could see in a bit. Naturally I stop to look in to see what the commotion is all about. I see 5 ladies behind a small counter trying to get everyone served. It’s so busy you needed to take a number. It’s just simple cookies about 20 varieties of cookies. I step up, take a number and waited my turn. I sampled about 7 different types for under 2,000 pesos. As I walked away chomping down on some delicious butter cookies I immediately knew I should have ordered more; however I resisted the temptation to turn around since it was the first meal of the day.

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Next I found a similar shop called Paradiso and I thought I had remembered reading that they had the best ice cream. However, upon entry I decided to try their shredded beef and cheese sandwich since I was feeling peckish and all I had was cookies. The kind lady warmed the sandwich on a panini press for me while I picked out an irresistible dessert called the Berlin Frito Manjar. It was a lightly powered donut stuffed with ultra sweet Canela. It was a bit sweet for my liking, I finished it nonetheless and moved on to the warm sandwhich. It had shredded beef, melted cheese and some fresh sour kraut. It was definitely above average for I think 1700.

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After leaving Paradiso, I started looking for something healthy like cut up fruit. I came upon a fresh juice vendor which had Kiwi juice of all things for 1,000. A 12-16oz glass. It was amazing and my first experience with kiwi juice. Clearly it was fresh squeezed and little to no water added. What a deal.

That ended my snacking for the day. I walked around to some museums and the big parks and then returned to the Hostel to research dinner. I was surprised to find that Yelp works in Chile. Hasn’t worked in any of central or S America to date. Made the research easy as I find TripAdvisor the worst website ever to be used so widely. SMH. The choice Barrica 94. It was just a few blocks away from Puriwani Hostel (very nice place with very accommodating staff right in the middle of the food and bar scene in Santiago). It turned out to be an excellent choice as it had plenty of my favorite wine. Chilean! I sat outside despite it being quite chilly. They had warmers set by every table and we were in a courtyard surrounded by similar restaurants and their outdoor seating. It almost was like dining at a fancy meeting of food trucks. Very cool and comfortable atmosphere. I ended up ordering the Chilean Vinos tasting (comes with 4 half glasses of different Chilean wines) for 10 mil. Then I started with the empanadas and beef tartar. Both super tasty especially with the good wine. Service was exquisite and all staff spoke good English. Apparently most of the Chileans know enough English to get by if not fluent. I finished with the sweet/savory short ribs and the poor man’s fries served with 2 fried eggs and caramelized onions. The meat was fall off the bone and the sauce was just enough sweet balanced with the savory. I think some jalapeños would have been a good addition to the sauce, it was delicious nonetheless.

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The next day I went to Valparaíso on the coast. A very hip town with lots of hills and a graffiti problem. Well, when I say problem I mean the entire town is covered in graffiti some sanctioned some not. It’s a quite gorgeous town. I took a bus from Santiago terminal South to Viña Del Mar then took a taxi to Valparaíso. (Don’t take a taxi here, use Uber of find the bus. Or use the rail system. I found this out the hard way. And you can take the bus duress this to Valparaíso; although Viña Del Mar has a lot to offer as well)

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First stop the Empanada shop on Urriola st. It’s famous, it’s small and boasts 80 kinds of empanadas. Fresh made to order and fried needless to say they were delicious. I had cheese, olives and sweet peppers. Delish. I doubt there’s anything bad on the menu though.

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Next I toured around the beautiful city and checked out the churches and parks. Landed at Restaurant Fauna. They probably have the best balcony in the city. I sat and drank several of their wines from 3pm to sunset. Didn’t try any food hear, the outside balcony with view of the bay was really nice as was the service.

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I skipped dinner in lieu of snacks and sangria at the hostel. Boy, I felt that the next day ended up not doing much that would be worth writing here. However, the following day I went to lunch at El Internado. I arrived 5 minutes before they opened 12:55 on a Saturday. They showed me to a nice waiting room where I waited just under 5 minutes to be seated. They have a nice deck and an all glass dining room upstairs located right at the top of the Queen Victoria Elevator. Of course I ordered a glass of wine which came with a nice side of olives. I ordered their house burger which came dressed and they piled on the tiny onion rings and some fried thick cut potatoes on the side all for 7 mil. It was the best burger I’ve had in a while, may be the best in town as I had been asking about burgers to no real answer from the hostel workers. The burger plus the view left me overly pleased with my choice, so I ordered dessert. Apple crumb cake with a scoop of ice cream. The crumb cake should have been served warm yet was still pretty good. Overall the burger was much better than the dessert, really can’t complain about either though.

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I hear Chinchero and Pasta and Vino are also good food choices in this town.

That afternoon I hopped an Uber and checked in Garden Street Hostel in Viña Del Mar. A small rich town that has some wonderful landscaping and a nice beach. Looks like there are a lot of great food choices here Gaucha Parrillas is supposed to be the best steak house and Burger Home for burgers. Since I had a burger for lunch and Argentinian steak is coming up tomorrow I elected to try shawarma from Shawarma Kings on 4th Poniente very close to 5 Norte. For 3700 I got a very large mixed chicken and gyro meat burrito which was well seasoned and tasty. That’s about all I’ve got for Chile, stay tuned for Buenes Aires, I hear amazing things about this town and I’m looking forward to tasting it all.

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Posted by Veritas2377 17:33 Archived in Chile Tagged landscapes skylines food restaurant tourist eats tips foodie Comments (0)

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