Today is day four in Buenos Aires, and our hot water is sadly broken. I have so far spent today indoors, feeling ill-equipped to face the world without a shower. Blessing in disguise: I have nothing to do but write while I wait for the repairman.
Buenos Aires has been absolutely lovely so far. One of the very first things that Kevin and I noticed was the abundance of coffee houses. Montevideo has some cafes, true, but Buenos Aires has legendary, numerous, fantastic cafes. We have sorely missed good coffee, so this is a welcome sight. I will write much more about this and other BsAs gastronomy soon.
Since we knew that we were going to ship out of Uruguay, we knew we needed to check off our Uruguay boxes, so the weekend before last we decided to head out to the biggest tourist draw of the country, the lovely coastal city of Punta del Este. Punta del Este is known for being ritzy – the wealthy from around the world own or rent homes there for the summer to enjoy the beautiful coastline. The upscale shopping/gastronomy/golf/yachting scene moved in not far behind the rich folks.
Imagine my surprise, then, to find a gritty, working fishing dock in one of the most picturesque parts of the city. Fishermen in rusty dinghies came to dock in the harbor, pull in their catches, and gut and sell the fish right on the boardwalk. All of this with multi-million dollar yachts in the background.
And of course, if there’s fresh fish in the port, restaurants ready to serve it up on the grill cannot be far away. As far as I know, Uruguay is famous for carne and chorizo, but not so much for seafood. I have to say though, this was some of the best I’ve ever had – about 30 steps away from the dock where they brought the fish in.
Some people describe the cuisine of Uruguay (and Argentina) as being “bland,” and I understand why, although I disagree. They are absolutely masters of the grill here, but they don’t really use any seasoning, or at least not much. I think they just want the fish (or steak) to be the star of the show. The fish above was served with only lemon for dressing. Honestly, for the salmon, that was enough – it was wonderful with just a little lemon juice. But sometimes you want a little more than that. The Uruguayans do too, it seems – I noticed that they often douse their meals with salt before eating.
All this talk about grilling and freshness has made me hungry, so I’m off to scrounge in the refrigerator. Until next time!