I love food. I love trying new food. I’ve eaten in so many different places, in different countries, all kinds of cuisine from Thai to Chinese to Peruvian – there are so many great meals I’ve had – but one stands out from all the rest.
When I was traveling through Chile, I went to Valparaiso and Vina del Mar for a week. I was staying in a lovely hostel up one of the hills in Valparaiso. It was close to the metro train which I would take to go to the beaches and different areas. But I also would buy food to make in the kitchen of the hostel to save money.
The owners of the hostel – a lovely man and his wife – told me about the daily menus in Chile. Most local restaurants would have a daily menu – a set menu usually served after 2pm which would include an appetizer, an entree, a dessert and a coffee or cold beverage, all at a very inexpensive price. I was intrigued and asked them if there were any close by. There just happened to be one about a 5 minute walk down the hill from the hostel. They highly recommended it to me, so one of my last days in Valparaiso, I decided to go and try it out.
I walked in and right away there was someone there to sit me at a table. It was not busy and I was able to take my time looking around and checking out the menu on the wall. Of course, the daily menu was on a placard at the door outside so I already knew what it was. I decided I was going to try the daily menu, and let the waiter know.
This restaurant was so quaint, and they prepared the food behind the bar so you could smell the aromas throughout the restaurant and watch them cook. The meal was pork chops with mashed potatoes and peas. There was a soup to start. The soup was delicious – one thing about Chile is their cazuela – it was more like a stew than a soup. They were all so hearty and delicious wherever I had it. So I finished the soup and bread, and then came the main course. The pork chops melted in my mouth and the mashed potatoes were silken and smooth and buttery – even now when I say this my mouth waters. For dessert, it was a crepe with strawberries and chocolate drizzle – a perfect end to the most delicious meal. I also discovered during this meal a Peru soda – Bilz – which I became quite addicted to while I was traveling through Chile.
This is definitely the best meal I’ve ever had, one that conjures up memories of Chile and still makes my mouth water.