Put down the mate, pick up the mote. Santiago, Part 1.

8 Jul

I have to admit something. These past two weeks I’ve been depressed. You see, two weeks ago, the husband and I took a fabulous weekend trip to Santiago de Chile, which during we took tons of pictures (which is really difficult for us) but when we got back home…the camera was nowhere to be found! I was sooo upset that we had lost the pictures of this trip, the best entire trip of my life! So, you can understand why I’ve been avoiding blogging these last few days….what’s there to write about?

Fast-forward to this evening, I decided to give one last look around the house before calling it quits, so I open up my junk drawer, which is filled with papers, sand (yes sand, don’t ask), coins, pencils and other odds and ends, and which I’ve looked through a 1,000 times, and voilá! what do I see? My precious camera with all my Santiago pics! Life is good again.

So, to mark my 2-year anniversary living in South America (I still miss you everyday, Paris), we took a quick trip over to Santiago de Chile. I had done some research and knew exactly what I wanted to do. We only had two days, so our schedule was filled and also meant that we’d have to eat at least 10 small meals a day if we wanted to taste everything I had planned on tasting.

We flew in late Friday night, in order to get up early Saturday and take advantage of the beautiful day. Now, usually I like staying in a hotel with breakfast included, that’s just how I roll, but once I found out there was Dunkin’ Donuts in Santiago, I knew where I’d be eating. I know, I know, Dunkin’ Donuts is totally bleh, and honestly I never ate it in the US, but there’s something about living abroad for 5 years that makes you crave donuts.


After fueling up on donuts and coffee, we decided it was time for lunch. Most tourists go here, to the Mercado Central, which is filled with seafood vendors and cheezy little restaurants that cater to the tourist palette and wallet.


We, of course, knew better and avoided the Mercado Central, and went here:


Mercado Vega, This is where the real people go to eat buy and eat.


It’s dirty, questionable, and absolutely cheap. So, what do you eat? There must be around 50 stalls with plastic tables and chairs and waiters pratically dragging you to eat at their restaurant….we chose the least pushy one (I avoid restaurants if they have someone in front of their restaurant, begging customers to come in, sends up red flags) and ordered some pescado frito con arroz and this delicious cazuela de ave. The flavors were clean, the meat tender and falling off the bone, and the broth was great for dipping sopapilla. Final price? Around 2 American bucks. Yeah.Image

After shopping around a bit, and picking up some merkén, a smoky chili powder used in Chilean cuisine and some rock sea salt, we needed dessert. By now the sun was high, and the day was starting to heat up. I knew that only one thing would make me happy: ice-cold mote con huesillos.


Pretty much any street kiosk sells this popular drink, which is basically peaches and barley, served ice-cold. Yes, peaches…and barley.


The barley has a bit of a crunchy texture, and the juice is delightfully refreshing with big hunkin’ pieces of peach floating around, and I really must mention that it’s ice-cold. I don’t know how they get it so cold, but I wish they’d teach their secret to Argentina, so they can stop serving me warm, fizzy coke.


But, besides the great seafood and ice-cold drinks, you know what I love about Santiago? Everywhere you look, there are these absolutely beautiful, stunning mountains.


3 Responses to “Put down the mate, pick up the mote. Santiago, Part 1.”

  1. Sue kagan July 9, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    Such fun taking a trip with Kelly to Santiago

  2. Sue kagan July 9, 2012 at 1:26 am #

    Such fun taking a trip to santiago with kelly


  1. The eating continues: Santiago de Chile, part 2 « Live, cook and eat abroad - July 24, 2012

    […] I mentioned in Santiago de Chile part 1, eating was a recurring theme on my to-do list for the short weekend we had planned in the Chilean […]

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