Tag Archives: Santiago

An A for Arrieros Colombianos

Isabel and I were looking for someplace different for lunch. We were up for “relaxed, low-key, good, and fun,” and we found it at Arrieros Colombianos, set in an old house in the “Brasil toward Yungay” barrio of Santiago Centro, on Av. General Bulnes, a block west of Cumming. We pushed through the narrow wooden and glass doors to find ourselves in a cheery yellow and peach-colored bar with natural plank-wood floors and a homey feel. Good start on the fun and low-key part.

Arrieros Colombianos: patacones, chicharrones, arepasWe started with a maracuyá (passion fruit) sour—very good and not too sweet, just as I asked—served icy cold—just as I like it—and a Club Colombia beer to accompany an abundant starter of arepas (thick Colombian cornmeal tortillas), patacones (diagonally cut, flattened fried plantains), and chicarrones (fried pork rinds). Conclusion: “this stuff just has to be bad for you because it just tastes way too good!”

We were going Colombian all the way, so quickly discarded the meat, fish, and Chilean sections of the menu and went straight to Colombian home style: Bandeja Paisa, Sancocho, Ajiaco, and others before Iz decided on a hearty (and huge) Cazuela de Frijoles that came with an enormous plateful of rice, arepas, patacones, and Colombian sausage, and I went for the main-dish Arepa topped with pulled chicken and beef in a tomatoey sauce that reminded us both of barbecue.

Arrieros Colombianos_CheckWe passed on the one by-the-glass wine option (Concha y Toro Exportación) and ordered one of the few half bottles on the list—a 2010 Santa Ema Cabernet, which was served impeccably. In fact, service all around was excellent.

Price–a bit of a splurge for lunch at $26,000, but considering we had way too much food and could actually order half the next time around, it was reasonable enough.

Bottom line question: Would we go back? Sí señor—not a doubt about it.

Av. General Bulnes 86, Santiago Centro, Chile
Tel.: 2-699-4196

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Elfos Restobar

Elfos Bar Santiago de ChileIt’s spring here in Chile, and we’ve decided it’s high time we returned to our old habit of an evening stroll—which more often than not ends with us rewarding our healthy walking efforts with stopping somewhere for a bite and a sip. That’s pretty easy to do in our “neck of the hood” because we figure there must be at least 50—maybe double that—bars and restaurants within walking distance of our place.

So we meandered through what I call “Old Providencia” between Manuel Montt and Seminario, admiring the many beautiful homes that haven’t been torn town for high rises (yet), and eventually stumbled upon a place we’d never noticed before. Elfos, on Roman Díaz, about a block from Av. Providencia.

We were game. Or wait. Maybe we were IN a game… Continue reading

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Chile’s Culinary Front: the Best of 2010

It’s that time of year again: Chile’s El Mercurio newspaper’s Wikén magazine has announced its favorite Chefs and Restaurants for 2010. Here’s the skinny–in English– along with a bonus track…

El Mercurio's Revista Wikén, Aug 27, 2010

Cover Revista Wikén, Aug 27, 2010

At our house we always read Wikén, the weekly food, wine & entertainment supplement that comes with El Mercurio every Friday, but there is one edition per year that we especially look forward to. And today was the day: the Annual Ranking of Chile’s best chefs and restaurants.

You can read the whole thing yourself in Spanish here: (El Wikén: Mejores Chefs y Restaurantes 2010), but I’ll give you the basics in English right here, complete with comments as a bonus track. All restaurant addresses and phone numbers are listed in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Click to discover what the crew at El Mercurio (and I) think about the Best Chefs, Best Restaurants, and up-and-coming people, trends & foodie hangouts in Chile er, Santiago, er, kinda the same thing… ? What do YOU think?

Continue reading

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Coquinaria: The Jury’s Still Out

CoquinariaThis is a place we’ve had our eye on for quite a while. A new concept in Santiago, an upscale market offering gourmet products (Chilean and imported)—a foodie’s delight—and tables indoors and out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We stopped by with friends the other night, originally on our way to someplace else, but stopped in to check it out and decided to stay.

The ambiance is delightful. Modern yet cozy, sophisticated yet friendly. My kinda place.

But I am sad to say that the dining side of the set-up still needs work. Continue reading

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Jofré: shall we stay, or shall we go…?

Cool place; great food… service? Room for work…

Did you ever notice how some people are just not cut out for service? And how much a difference it makes in how you feel about a place?

Last night a group of friends decided on the spur of the moment to go get a drink and a bite. Someone suggested Jofré… Great place; I’ve been there several times over the course of its 6 or so years in business… Low-key Latina bistro type, set in a renovated cité with small dining rooms and a nice terraza. There’s cool artwork on the exposed adobe walls,  the kitchen’s open to view, and the wine list is printed in colored chalk on an enormous board on the wall…

Food wise it’s a keeper too. The menu usually offers 4–5 reasonably priced dishes determined in accordance with the daily market finds… (in fact, the menu is printed daily). But last night we were there for drinks and apps, so I didn’t even check out the main courses.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First impressions first. Let’s start with one foot in the door… Continue reading

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