Tag Archives: Food

Fuente Mardoqueo: Best sánguches in town

The search is over. I’ve found the perfect chacarero!

cacharero, Fuente Mardoqueo, sánguche

The perfect Chacarero: tasty beef topped with fresh tomato, crisp green beans, and a touch of green chili

I am admittedly not the world’s biggest sandwich fan…and them’s fightin’ words in Chile.  Chileans love—and passionately defend—their beloved sánguches. So I’m here to call a truce. And while I’m not likely to ever get up much enthusiasm for the basic avocado- and mayo-smeared ham & cheese, there are other Chilean sandwich combinations that are pretty hard to resist. Make mine a chacarero, a super sánguche whose special defining feature is a big pile of green beans. Yep, that’s right, green beans. Who knew?

Fuente MardoqueoFuente Mardoqueo, half a block from the Plaza Yungay, is one of those word-of-mouth type places—a true picada—and it had been on our radar for a while. Continue reading

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Don Victorino Restaurant

This Lastarria bistro is a great place to catch up with an old friend over drinks and a bite…

By Margaret Snook, February 1, 2009

Here’s the panorama: movie and drinks with a friend I needed to catch up with. We caught a film at the Biógrafo (art house) on Lastarria (cool Santiago neighborhood on the eastern edge of downtown) and then looked for a place close by for drinks and picoteo (appetizers). The neighborhood is full of places to choose from, but Don Victorino was hopping, she’d never been, and I hadn’t been in a while, so… decision made.

Set in a remodeled old house, the place has a nice, cozy, bistro feel to it in with colonial-red walls, plenty of refinished natural wood, and appropriately placed antique furnishings. Comfortable and inviting. There’s seating for about 60-70 people in four separate areas: on the street, in the bar, in a second-floor loft overlooking the bar, or in the interior combined patio-dining room. It was pretty full when we got there about 11:30, so we decided on a small table by the bar.

We weren’t very hungry, so we stuck to the appetizer menu… plenty of good choices: tortilla de papa, fried calamari, ceviche, among others, all ranging from about $2500 to $5000 ($5-10 USD approx). We ordered the breaded jumbo shrimp and salmon tiradito (both just under $5000) and a couple of caipirinhas, one of my all-time favorite mixed drinks.

A bread basket with two standard rolls and a little bowl of pinkish salsa appeared very quickly, even though we clearly were not having dinner. Neither looked interesting enough to waste the carbs on, so they went untouched.

The shrimp was fine, nothing out of this world, but done well enough-butterflied, breaded, fried til crisp, and served with an oddly carmine-colored sweet-n-spicy ketchupy kind of sauce that wouldn’t be my first choice, but I wouldn’t refuse it either.

The tiradito, a traditional Peruvian dish made with long thin strips of raw fish marinated in lemon or lime with Peruvian seasonings, was arranged on a plate, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with those yummy Peruvian crunchy corn kernels and garnished with ruffly red leaf lettuce. It was good, but perhaps a bit skimpy for the $4800 price tag-about 8 bucks.

The caipirinhas were good-in the end we shared a third-and if you’ve never tried one, you’ve got to fix that right now. Brazil’s national drink has got to be the best cocktail ever for beating the January heat (we ARE in the southern hemisphere here!)

The service was attentive and friendly, although a bit overly enthusiastic when it came time to clear the table. I felt like the waiters really wanted to get out of there. Points in their favor: We didn’t notice that the 10% tip was included on the check (yes, more places are doing that these days) and would have left another on top of it had the server not brought it to my attention.

Overall impression: Nice, relaxed, and inviting atmosphere. Good place for conversation. Good but not spectacular appetizers, but will wait for the main course before making a final decision.

Repeatable experience? Yes

Price Range: not outrageous, but bring a plastic backup.

Address:  José Victorino Lastarria 156, Santiago
Phone:  (562) 639-5263
Price:  Not cheap. $19.500 tip included

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World Delicatessen: World Class all around

By Margaret Snook, December 9, 2008

Giancarlo Mazzarelli, one of Chile’s top chefs has a new project. In addition to his top notch restaurant Puerto Fuy, he’s now the guy in the know behind the new shop-slash-restaurant “WD: World Delicatessen” in the fashionable Nueva Costanera sector of Vitacura.

Need a special gourmet gift for your favorite epicure? This is the place. Special spices and seasonings,  pastas, foie gras, oils, rices, caviar, truffles, quinoa, and the largest selection of salts I have ever seen in one place! And then there are the gifty items–you know the ones: those cool things that make great gifts but that you rarely buy for yourself. Pretty glass jars of paté, for example, or fancy bottles of culinary perfumes. Seriously. I had the chance to try a spritz of white truffle oil essence on beef and Grand Marnier essence on creme brulee. Interesting effect, and a good way to get just a hint of flavor without having to drizzle. Of course you could put the stuff in a spritzer and get the same effect, but I have to admit, the bottle is pretty classy!

But WD is more than a shop. It’s also a restaurant that’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, from 9:00 am til midnight or so. The menu changes every week, the prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is modern and sophisticated yet inviting and comfortable, with outdoor tables in front and indoor seating in the back.

But that’s not all! It also has a great space for cooking classes, which will be offered by Giancarlo and friends–some of Santiago’s top chefs.

Nueva Costanera 6664, Vitacura, Santiago de Chile.   Phone: (56-2) 789-4047

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