so there's this website http://www.rottentomatoes.com that shows how good a movie is based on a percentage of positive reviews from "approved tomatometer critics." recently, said tomatometer was employed to prove that fattractive has shitty taste in comedies from the 80s. (in my defense, i love many of the movies from this era and just by the fact that they made me fall in love with them do i believe proves they are good. but whatever. apparently, not everything can be as beyond reproach as foxxhole radio. (don't worry if you don't understand that reference--it's obviously meant as an inside joke.)
i only mention the tomatometer because, for one, the word tomato is in the word tomatometer, which makes it worthy of fattractive coverage. tomatoes were in the veggie burger i had for lunch today and in the tacos i made for dinner sunday night and in the sauce in the can i used with my wheat spaghetti with month old andouille sausage i whipped together from the ghosttown of a fridge i came home to after my 2 week stint in south america. oh, what? didn't i tell you? i went to buenos aires! and montevideo! and colonia (for about 4 hours at this one, but still! tres adventure!)! why am i wasting time talking about tomatoes!
things you should know about argentina and uruguay:
1. people eat mostly meat and make fun of americans and their salads. don't listen to them. you can buy fruits/vegetables at many grocery stores (mostly run by chinese people).
2. the ice cream will BLOW YOUR MIND right out of your SKULL. seriously, it's delicious. i went to a heladeria once a day, practically. the first time was at this place called veikka a few blocks away from fem fat al's (with whom i was staying) in the las canitas neighborhood between palermo and bellgrano. i asked for the coco flavor and the scooper looked at me like i was loco because i didn't ask for two flavors! everyone around me had like a pint size tub of several scoops. it's like that movie with al brooks and meryl streep Defending Your Life where you can eat all you want and never gain a pound or get uncomfortably full.
3. empanadas are everywhere and slide right down your gullet with the help of the local beer quilmes (which is essentially pbr en espanol...the local beer in montevideo is called patricia, which we shouted many times in lieu of cheers [which by the way is pronounced by our bolivian friends as "chairs"]).
4. why would anyone try to acquire the taste of mate when cafe con leche is top notch no matter where you go? i stopped to order one about 3 times a day, and without fail, the waiter brought me a perfectly brewed cappuccino with some variety of pastry and a tiny glass of water, all for about 6-8 pesos (<$2USD).
5. alfajores are like moonpies but with dulce de leche. bring a lot of these back home with you. i am kicking myself for not taking my own advice here.
6. learn the phrase "la cuenta, por favor." live it. love it. they will not bring you your check unless you beg for it. otherwise, the service is uniformly friendly and attentive, which makes you feel even more guilty for only tipping 10ish%.
7. my friend morgan told me that everyone in argentina loves these sandwiches called migas that basically are anchovies and hardboiled eggs on bread with the crust cut off although the one deli we went into to buy one had no idea what he was asking for. i had a bite (after he told them how to make it), and it wasn't bad. the real winner in the sandwich pageant, though, is the CHIVITO in uruguay, which really is on all of the menues. it's like a total dagwood concoction of steak, ham, lettuce tomato pickle hardboiled egg olives and whatever else. i bought some steak at the store this weekend and shall attempt to recreate this cholesterol la bomba very soon.
8. there's not really a lot of fish on the menu although you'd think there would be since you're surrounded by water. it's river water though and the water is brown. i don't know if either of those facts i just shared have anything to do with the scarcity of fish, but there you have it, elizabeth.
9. that reminds me that i also bought a fish in chinatown this weekend that is currently getting less fresh as i type this. also, please ignore that elizabeth line unless you are in on the inside joke as earlier in this post.
10. we also had some amazing arepas when in montevideo because our host is venezuelan and a total doll. she introduced us to some lipsmacking pumpkin jam that i brought back a tub of (don't tell customs!) and took us to the most fun fun bar i've ever been to, baar fun fun. i danced all night with a woman 3 times my age and half my size. fem fat al says that argentinians call heels tacos, and michelle (a brooklynite we ran into at malba who'd just snagged a pair of super cute booties) says, "these tacos were made for dancing!"
that's what i got for now. another installment another day. te veo despues, aligador.