Monday, March 23, 2009

Fantastic food, very cheap




We finally got a chance to go have lunch by ourselves today. We went to one of our favorite places (perhaps our favorite) just down the street from the hotel: La Leñita. My wife had been there a week ago, and as soon as we walked in the waiter she had then came up and gave her a kiss. While we were looking over the menu they brought us each a delicious empanada. We ordered a bottle of Perdriel Malbec, one of the more expensive wines on the list (35 pesos, about $10).

The waiter recommended the Lomo al Verdeo, which is one of their specialties. I had been thinking of that, but my wife wanted something simpler—just the meat, the most tender cut they had. The waiter said we could split the order: a mini Lomo (filet mignon cut a special way) and a mini Lomo al Verdeo. The first two pictures you see show the two plates. I figure each piece of meat was way over 1/2 pound, and it was perhaps the best filet mignon we had ever had. Mine came with a very light white sauce, topped by pieces of melted cheese and slices of oven-roasted tomatoes. It was simply magnificent.

As you can see from the fourth picture, the bill for all this, including tax, was 141 pesos, or $40, plus we gave the waiter a very generous tip of 15 pesos (most people here would probably have left either nothing for the waiter or 5 pesos). We each had over a half pound of the very best filet mignon with a side of french fries, two salad bars, two bottles of water, 1 and a half bottles of wine (it was so good we had to order a split to have with the dessert), and a delicious regional dessert (copa Don Juan) which had carmelized squash, vanilla ice cream, walnuts, and rum. Wow.

After we finished we asked the waiter if the chef would explain to us how he did the filet. You can see the process in pictures #2 and #3 (my wife had already cut off a piece of her steak by the time I took the picture). He starts by cutting a whole filet mignon in half or maybe thirds (depending on its starting size). He then cuts it starting on the long side, so that it unrolls into a long, thin piece, which is what he is holding up. After sprinkling some salt on it, he cooks it for about 10 minutes or so on the bbq. It's the most incredible steak I've ever had.

2 comments:

Bernard said...

Simply amazing...

Brian said...

Outstanding travel article! Ever considered a second career?