a diverse collection of travel photos and firsthand experiences while venturing across the globe. each destination has welcomed us with open arms and warm smiles, making us feel right at home. from argentina to utah - and thousands of miles in between - these are our visual memories of 'home'...just as we never imagined.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dinner Time in Mendoza

Dinner time is a special time. Here in Argentina, we prefer the traditional barbeque asado over most meals. There's quite a difference between the national asado...and it's North American counterpart: the cookout.

Argentina:
José - what time are we starting the asado?

Get here like three hours in advance. That way, we can drink and talk soccer while the fire burns.

United States:
Joe - when does the cookout start?

Burgers will be ready at 6:00.

Argentina:
Wow, José. What kind of firewood is that - alamo or quebracho?

Alamo. The good stuff - really enhances the flavor of the beef.

United States:
Joe, how much was that 40-lb bag of Kingsford charcoal?

I got it on sale. You wanna pass me the lighter fluid?

Argentina:
Your choice - we've got ribs, t-bone, sausage, and some tenderloin.

United States:
You want cheese on yours?

Of course, I'm having fun, but I will miss the local food as we return home to the United States. This week was highlighted with a special dinner at Azafrán, located along Emilio Civit - Mendoza's main street - overflowing with tourists and locals in the evening. The dinner was a gift from a good friend, and while gift cards do not exist down here, I was given a business card signed by the restaurant's wine manager...with a peso amount written next to his name.

The atmosphere is wonderful - a pleasant, yet rustic, establishment with just a handful of tables inside. Shelves stacked with spice jars line one wall, while dried flowers and garlic braids hang from the ceiling. Among the copper pots and pans are vintage photos of past Vendimia queens - those women voted as the official reinas of wine.

So, let's take a look at the menu...and get to the pictures!

Appetizer:
Empanada Trio - Chorizo and Onion, Morsilla and Parmesan, Veal and Mushroom...with a side of diced cherry tomatoes

Main Dishes:
Almond Crusted Chicken Breast with Buffalo Mozzarella - Garnished with Pumpkin Bites Wrapped in Sautéed Zucchini

14 oz Prime Rib Eye - Served with Roasted Onion stuffed with Truffle Mashed Potatoes

Desserts:
White and Dark Chocolate Parfait - Served over a Brownie with Red Fruit Sauce

Dulce de Leche Creme Brulée - Served with Rice Pudding and a Stroke of Dulce de Leche

It was a wonderful night out on the town. In fact, the last time we ever had dinner reservations was for our sixth wedding anniversary...8 months ago!

6 comments:

Still Life in South America said...

The presentation is really lovely. I like the red theme and the spice jars.

How long will you be visiting the U.S.?

All of your photos are beautiful, especially Tania. :-) Hope you continue to make time for special date nights.

Amanda said...

We are so excited that you are coming back! We will need to get together!

Adam W. said...

You moving back to the US?! No!!!! Who will write and send back such fantastic pictures?

Van Ry Clan of Layton Ave said...

my mouth is watering after looking at those empanadas, send me some please

Rono said...

Qué rico! Con el comentario acerca de este lugar me hicieron acordar lo complicado que es el tema de los nombres de las calles en Mendoza! Lo digo porque Azafran está (técnicamente) sobre Sarmiento, pero que a su vez se llama Emilio Civit, Garibaldi, Saavedra, Avenida del Libertador y no sé cuántos nombres más!!!
Imposible!!! Disfruten de las empanaditas hasta el último día!

satomblablabla said...

SERIOUSLY?! c'mon, give me a freakin' break here. I am starving for argie food!