Small talk in the supermarket’s checkout queue. Simone is approached by a local and asked where she is from: “In Austria, people know about Uruguay?” – “Yes, they do.” – “Why?”
We were certainly happy to be among the few tourists who did visit. Montevideo is a laid-back, friendly, modern Latin American city, though without too much accent on Latino, to be honest.
In the charming little old town, the Mercado del Puerto is a mecca for meat lovers, with one barbecue stand next to another. There we had our first encounter with the delicious medio y medio, a mix of sparkling wine and sweet white wine. The perfect Tuesday afternoon drink!
And, of course, the beach with its beachfront walk, the Ramblas, was something we enjoyed very much after having been “city-borne” for quite some time. (Although BA and Montevideo both lie on the Río de la Plata, the brownish water on BA’s side doesn’t really invite to take a swim.)
We were desperately looking for Jeff the Diseased Lung, but eventually learned that his billboard was removed a while ago. Nonetheless: #JeffWeCan!
Jan found the perfect substitute for his beloved Kebab (which had been hard to come by in Chicago anyway) and Italian Beef (very hard to ignore in Chicago): Chivito! That’s a typical Uruguayan (cough fast food cough) dish that you can have either as a sandwich (en pan batta or tortuga) or on a plate (al plato, on a load of fries). It’s made of thin slices of beef, a fried egg, lettuce, pickles, cheese, mayonnaise and other optional ingredients. Jan had chivitos from the chivito place in our street three days in a row. One time, he even (successfully) bribed the staff to postpone their lunch break (well, the indispensable four-hour siesta). That’s how good it was. Especially when enjoyed at the nearby beach.