Sunday, 1 March 2009

The Uruguayan Menu: Eating Out & Restaurants in Montevideo

I am a foodie! I love to cook (which is sometimes challenging here with the lack of certain ingredients and the Uruguayan tendency to only have a hotplate or microwave in the kitchen!) so when I get frustrated its good to have a favourite safe haven to cheer up a hungry stomach :)

These are my recommendations so far but this list will certainly grow so check in again for updates!

If anyone knows how to do meat, it is the Uruguayans. Let's just say that a friend of mine once ordered chorizo (sausage) and when he asked what comes with it they offered him a steak!?! Many tourists and newbies are pointed in the direction of the big Mercados (Mercado Artesal- no! just avoid it! WORST PARILLA EVER! and Mercado Del Puerto is nice but significantly overpriced and often over-run with tourists from the cruise ships!)

Really the Ultimate Uruguayan Parrilla is to be found at La Otra (in Pocitos, 758 Tomás Diago, on the corner with Juan M. Pérez, apparently open "everyday" but this IS Uruguay so watch out for all those holidays they take! from 12-4pm and 8pm to 1am).




Here at La Otra you will find really tasty meat of every variety and some really nice sides too (which is rare!) They actually use a variety of leaves in their green salads and the dips which come with the bread (parsley and LOTS of garlic, and a mysterious semi-spicy one) are AMAZING!


SUSHI!!! Yes, that's right, I have found genuine (made by an adorable Japanese family) and fresh sushi here in Montevideo! For those of you who live here (and have moved from a thriving metropolis filled with tasty international cuisine) you may find the choices down south a little limiting sometimes. As such I am delighted to share this one with you.


Their whole menu is available online in pdf form on their website, I recommend their sushi teishoku box (great value but only available at lunch time), the california rolls are good, try the temaki (seaweed roll...ask for salmon). I'm working my way through the whole menu one maki at a time!

You'll find Sumi Sushi on Patria 699 (on the corner of Jose Figueria) on the Punta Carretas side of Parque Rodo...and they do delivery but charge 50pesos if you're outside the Punta Carretas, Parque Rodo or Pocitos areas.


To taste Uruguay's favourite, the traditional empanada (pastry pouches filled with yummy ingredients) I have to recommend La Taberna Del Diablo- "Devils Tavern". This place is great! Choose from a wide range (39 on last count!) of empanadas with vegetable, meat, chicken, ham, cheese or sweet fillings. I highly recommend the pollo suprema (chicken and mushrooms in a creamy sauce) and chop suey verduras (soy vegetables). You can have them fried (frita) or baked (al horno)...better al horno in my humble opinion, and better for your health too!


They also make great pizzas too (which is rare here in Montevideo where "pizza" means just dough and sauce and common "muzzarella", or cheesy pizza, is about as close to real pizza as cider is to champagne!). The "mediterranea" pizza with calamaris is pretty amazing and for one person costs just 70pesos (about $3) and empanadas are only 25pesos ($1) each! If you're a dessert person give the dulcelate empanada a try, you won't regret it! They all taste great with a cold bottle of Patricia beer which they serve in glasses from the freezer, love it!

La Taberna Del Diablo is very close to Parque Rodo on the corner of Avenida Gonzalo Ramirez and Pablo de Maria. Check out their website here (all in spanish as per usual!)

My newest find (thanks to Shirley and Santiago!) is the Chinese Buffet! Those missing the sticky sauces and satisfaction of a cheap chinese take-out will be delighted to hear that you can get an all-you-can-eat (spring rolls, sweet and sour chicken, beef with blackbean sauce, fried rice, the lot...and ice cream) for 210pesos! Its in Centro, on San Jose close to Paraguay.

And last, but MOST DEFINITELY not least, is my favourite...Las Delicias! For incredible creamy ice-cream this is the one stop shop. You'll find it in Pocitos on the corner of 21 de Setiembre and Ellauri and it is heavenly! Try all the flavours to find your favourite, currently I'm loving Las Delicias (chocolate with crunchy chocolate nutty pieces, yum!) and cheesecake (tastes exactly like a great cheesecake with fruits of the forest). The best way to do it is order the "buffet", this way you can choose all the flavours you want, and you get to guess the weight...if you guess correct its free! Even if you have to pay it ends up cheaper than getting a big cone (just avoid all the toppings and extras they try to sell you!)



Still on my list of food places to go/discover...the creperie in Ciudad Vieja on Bartolomé Mitre, the authentic but scary looking Korean places in Ciudad Vieja beside the Radisson, the "best paella ever" recommended by my room mate that is apparently to be found in Mercado Del Puerto....and I'm on the look-out for an Indian restaurant or India cooking supplies, if anyone knows of a secret location PLEASE share the details!


Bon appetite! ¡Buen provecho!

11 comments:

  1. I was looking for some information about Sushi restaurants in Montevideo, and I found your blog!
    I'm a Portuguese living in Montevideo since March!
    What are you doing here?
    Tell me about your experience.

    Hope to get some news from you! Email me!
    (margarida.e.pereira@gmail.com - this is my email)

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  2. Hello to all

    I am from India, i am very much interested to settle in Montevideo, Uruguay, one of my friend advised to visit Uruguay. I went through the internet for more information about this country and living style. I am impressed with the people live here.

    Anybody help me, if i come over there to settle in Montevideo, i have little money to invest in any small business.

    Please advice/guide me in a legal way.
    My E-mail:- naveengaur2003@gmail.com
    Thank you very much.
    Naveen Gaur
    Delhi(India)

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  3. Hi Naveen,
    What part of India are you from? I have a lot of Indian friends here in Montevideo, they work for a big company called TaTa that has offices in Zona America (the tax free area).

    I think there is definitely a lack of international cuisine here in Uruguay and I know many people who would love to see a nice Indian restaurant and Indian food supplies shop!

    The problem is Uruguayans are quite traditional in their food choices and there aren't very many foreign people living here, it is quite a homogeneous country.

    When do you plan to move here or is it still just an idea?

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  4. Hi,
    Have you tried Freddo. They don´t have as many flavours as Las Delicias, certainly they don´t have as many as in Buenos Aires, but the ones they have are great.
    I´m not sure if MP knows there is an excelent Portuguese restaurant here in Montevideo? It´s called Madre Deus and it´s located in the corner of Acevedo Diaz and Canelones in Cordón.
    I will write to her and tell her.
    I also love Indian food, but as there are no Indian restaurants her I cook it myself. The best place to find spices is Casa Singer in 18 de Julio 1612

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  5. There is a restaurant out in Carrasco, I bleieve it is called Arocena, which has the best steak I have ever tasted. Top off your dinner with a little grappa y miel (honey). Nobody knows how to eat like the Uruguayos.

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  6. My husband & I were on vacation in Montevideo and went to both LaOtra and La Tabernia. What great recommendations! Thanks so much for sharing your favorites with us!

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  7. Hello,

    Can anyone recommend a good hotel or B&B in Monte? I have researched and found many - but, many noisy, and worn down, not interested in hostel, and top end American chains are not our thing. I'm looking for a family owned real gem with some charm. Any suggestions? I figured some expats might know some private owners.

    Thanks!

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  8. Hi, it sounds like you'd like "Una Noche Mas" (www.unanochemas.com.uy). Its small, quaint, in a nice area of town, and I've heard wonderful things about the hosts. Hope that helps, enjoy Montevideo

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  9. @Naveen Gaur from Delhi!
    Oh God! Another Indian migrant trying to escape home and subkect us to to the pleasures of Indian cuisine! I hope the Uruguayan authorities will first check up the quality of his investment, to see where he did such work before (outside India), for how long and why he's thinking of doing something like this here, in Montevideo.
    I would only hope that the authorities ensure that only the best representative Indian cuisine be allowed- otherwise it'll be just a clone of one of those ubiquitous South Asian-run 'Indian' restaurants we get to see in Britain: nook-in-the-wall, ill-mannered ill-informed waiters, dim interiors, saree-clad ceilings, desultory tinny bollywood music, bland over-coloured food, and the lingering perfume of stale spices...

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  10. @Naveen,
    I totally agree with Irishblogger. There is a massive market gap for good asian food in Montevideo and I am desperate to find a spicy Indian curry here. And even if it's true that the Uruguayans are pretty traditional when it comes to food, there are so many foreigners here who would love to find a good asian meal. So please come and get started.
    @Irishblogger: I quite like the blog. What r u doing here? I haven't met a lot of Irish people in Monte yet. Feel free to get in touch if you are up for having a pint (dani912@gmx.de).

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