Uruguay

Eating and drinking

Food

In general, you have two choices: meat or Italian food. Beef is eaten at almost all meals. Most restaurants are
parrilladas
(grills) where the main cuts are
asado
(ribs);
pulpa
(no bones),
lomo
(fillet steak) and entrecote. Steak prices normally indicate the quality of the cut. Also very popular are
chorizos
and
salchichas
, both types of sausage. More exotic Uruguayan favorites include
morcilla
(blood sausage, salty or sweet),
chinchulines
or
chotos
(small or large intestines),
riñones
(kidneys) and
molleja
(sweetbreads).
Cordero
(lamb) and
brochettes
(skewers/kebabs) are also common. Grilled
provolone
,
morrones
(red peppers),
boniatos
(sweet potatos), and
chimichurri
sauce are also omnipresent.
Chovitos
(large, fully loaded steak burgers) and
milanesa
(fried breaded chicken or beef) are also popular; usually eaten with mixed salad (lettuce, tomato, onion), or chips. All Italian dishes are delicious, from bread to pastas to raviolis to desserts. Pizza is very common and good. Common seafoods include squid, mussels, shrimp, salmon, and
lenguado
(sole). For snacks,
media lunas
(croissants) are often filled
with ham and/or cheese, either hot or cold; toasted sandwiches and quiche are readily available;
panchos
are hot dogs;
picada
(crackers or breads, cheese, olives, coldcuts) is a common afternoon favourite. Desserts, mostly of Italian origin, are excellent.
Dulce de leche
(similar to caramel) and
dulce de membrillo
(quince cheese) are common ingredients. As in Argentina,
alfajores
are a favourite sweet snack. Ice cream is excellent everywhere.


Dinner hours are generally 2000-0100. Restaurants usually charge
cubierto
(bread and place setting), costing US$1-3, and more in Punta del Este. Lunch is generally served from 1300-1500, when service often stops until dinner. A
confitería
is an informal place which serves meals at any time, as opposed to a
restaurante
, which serves meals at set times. Uruguay does not have a great selection of international restaurants. Vegetarians may have to stick to salads or pasta, as even the dishes which are “meatless” are served with ham or bacon.


Drink

The beers are good (
Patricia
has been recommended). Local wines vary, but tannat is the regional speciality (eg
Don Pascual
,
Pisano
). See www.vino-uruguay.com and www.uruguaywinetours.com. Whisky is the favourite spirit in Uruguay, normally Johnny Walker. The local spirits include
uvita
,
caña
and
grappamiel
(honey liquor). In the Mercado del Puerto, Montevideo, a
medio
medio
is half still white wine, half sparkling white (elsewhere a
medio medio
is half
caña
and half whisky).
Espillinar
is a cross between whisky and rum. Try the
clérico
, a mixture of wine and fruit juices. Very good fresh fruit juices and mineral water are common).
Mate
is the drink of choice between meal hours. Coffee is good, normally served espresso-style after a meal. Milk, sold in plastic containers, is excellent, skimmed to whole (
descremada
to
entera
)
This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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