Feria One Block from the House

Every Thursday afternoon there is a feria (farmers market) set up one block from our house. It has seafood, cheese, meats, sausages, clothes, shoes, plants, cleaning supplies, garden items, you name it and it will likely be found on a table, or under a canopy or in a trailer.  I know that in Montevideo the residents of the street receive a tax incentive for having the farmers market in front of their homes each week and that it is a three-year commitment allowing the mercado to be on your street.

They sell grains and beans in quantity, plus all different types of herbs and spices.  Some places sell medicinal herbs as well.This stand had honey and home canned veggie mixes.Not a great deal of fruit this time of year.  But they did have three varieties of apples, bananas, pears, juice and eating oranges and plums.  One stand had beautiful strawberries but there were just too many people.These trailers have chilled display cases with cheeses, salami and other cold cut meats, they also have several varieties of olives.This market does not get totally set up until around 3pm. By 4pm it was packed with people. This week the variety of warm clothing was unbelievable – coats, hats, scarves, gloves, you name it and it was at the market.  Joe and I bought heavy wool socks and gloves along with some fruits and veggies for the week.  We also bought a variety pack of sweets, cookies and alfahores. It came out to 10 pesos a piece.  Not bad since we cut everything in half and share.Another trailer with cheese, salami and cold cuts. This one sells pet supplies. Makeup and nail polish anyone? I wanted all three of these cast iron pots.  Not exactly sure what to do with the one with legs… Now for all you Yerba Mate drinkers…I bought a dozen or so of the pansies.  Hopefully this afternoon I will get them into the planter on the front porch. Next time Joe requested that I take close up pictures so you could see the actual items and cost.  Hope you enjoyed the tour of our Thursday market. Joe also said the best part was eating the torta fritas that reminded him of hojaldras in Panama.

Weather in Atlantida

We have only been in our home two weeks today so I can only give you my impression of the fall weather in that time period.  It is cold! The house gets so cold at night and there is no central heat just a fireplace which we do not even have wood for at this point. During the day, if the sun is shining it is absolutely beautiful, clear skies, crisp air but hot sun to compensate.  You must start your day layered with cool clothing underneath and top with sweaters or fleece vests and a good jacket.  I have already worn my wool cap as well as my down filled jacket but within a few hours needed to strip down to those lighter things underneath. We have had one day of gloomy weather with rain showers and that makes everything seem even colder.

Some of the trees are turning yellow and dropping their leaves and the parrots are making nests in every tree in the area getting ready for winter.  They must eat the seed pods of the pine cones as there are cones all over the street and yards under those trees, with birds in a frenzy of excitement.

Right now is 75 degrees with 62% humidity and 6 mph winds at 2pm. Low for today is 56 high 76. Just a beautiful fall day!

Rudy The Burger House, Montevideo Uruguay

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You must taste the burgers at Rudy’s. Located on Av 26 de Marzo here in Montevideo.  Oh MY Oh MY.  First the restaurant located almost next door to the apartment we rented for the past 3 months. The burgers we had were nothing short of fabulous. The meat was excellent, juicy is not the word for this burger, maybe super juicy would be better.  We ordered the burgers jugoso which mean juicy but it actually is rare but not bloody red, just very juicy and dripping flavor. By the way, the server told us they make their own hamburg rolls as well.

It is a cute place with out front seating on a patio overlooking the sidewalk and road, inside seating in several different rooms as well as a patio out back that is walled and super private.  Our first visit we opted for the patio in the back and it was cozy, private and perfect for our lunch date.

The menu is burgers and fries. We wanted the cheeseburgers with all the trimmings and rustic fries.

Excellent.  We went back several more times before we moved and each time I brought the camera and the battery was dead. Guess I need a new camera.

If you are visiting Montevideo you MUST make a trip to Rudy. The best burger we have ever had. The beef here in Uruguay is outstanding and these folks know how to do it right. The only thing they do is burgers…..out of this world delicious.

Nigiri

While here in Montevideo we are attempting to eat at places we have missed for a long time.  Sushi is one of the things we have missed. So from Konichi-Wa to the mall sushi place we have enjoyed some great food.

Today we went to buy fresh fish and the salmon looked too good to pass up so we bought a kilo. On the way walking back I decided to try to make nigiri. I needed wasabi but had everything else.

Here is my first attempt.

It did not last long. Yum!

Pictures of Our Trip to Atlantida

Our first trip to Atlantida was lovely.  We stayed at the Hotel Argentina right on Calle 11 Y 24 which is about a block from the main restaurant row and the center of town and close to the beach. The hotel was very nice, we had a well fitted room on the second floor with a queen-sized bed, mini bar and all the other necessities.

A breakfast buffet served each morning from 8 until 10:00 and included fresh brewed coffee, decaf and an assortment of teas, along with fresh orange juice. One thing I just love is hot milk for my coffee and they had two decanters filled so I can have my half and half. The rolls, medialunas, sliced breads, pastries were fresh each morning and they had two flavors of yogurt, several cereal choices and cut meats and cheeses plus whole fruits of bananas, apples, oranges and pears.  Condiments included a bowl of dulce de leche for your toast along with several other marmalades and butter. They do not have a restaurant on the premises but during the day if you need a little nosh they will make you a cup of tea or coffee and a hot sandwich of cheese and ham.

As you can see from the photo above I am not proficient at taking selfies, I think that is a good thing…. This is a shot taken after a lunch with Tannat wine and a Chivito.  I am happy but ready for a short siesta and Joe is acting as my own personal pillow.

The beaches are well below street level, wide in most places and have a beautiful fine white sand.  Sea oats and other grasses grow along the shoreline on the dunes and we saw signs which I think said they are protected by the government like on US coastlines.  Many of the beaches have large trees for shade for those who only want a bit of sun.

In 1908 a group of Uruguayan doctors and medical students planted an estimated 150,000 pine and eucalyptus trees in an effort to beautify the area and stabilize the sand dunes. After the tree planting the area became known as Playa de los Médicos (Beach of the Doctors). However, the doctors and medical students decided on the name “Atlántida”, after Plato’s legendary lost continent of Atlantis. Some of the trees have an unusual trunk where the bark is in a swirling pattern and peels off leaving stripes of different colors. There is a variety of eucalyptus that has a multicolored bark.  See picture below.  We have not seen this variety yet but I would love to see it close up.

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This is the Eagle house overlooking the beach – open to the public. Built many years ago by a famous visionary Natalio Michelizzi who also built some of the other landmark buildings in the 30s and 40s.

This metal sculpture obviously represent the sun and actually resembles part of the Uruguayan flag. Certain times of the year you can watch the sun set through it.While walking back from the beach we found a fountain in the middle of an intersection. Surrounded by benches some in the sun some in the shade.  So of course we took a short break to listen to the birds and catch our breath. This fountain built to thank the medical students and doctors for their work to beautiful Atlantida. Each level of the fountain represents the different name the town had at various points in its history.

This 100-year-old boat sits alongside a seafood restaurant right on the beach.  Looks like a great place to have a drink and lunch or early dinner.  We will try it the next time we are back in Atlantida.As you can see Joe is one happy guy. He is sitting at just another entrance to the beach.  One of the many great things we noticed while in Atlantida is the number of trash receptacles and benches, they are everywhere and the town is very clean and well maintained.  We found the fresh fish place right on the beach.  That day they had fresh tuna steaks, merluza (hake), black corvina and another choice which we both cannot remember but looked good.

Teatro ALSUR a theater / movie house / cafe is located in town.  They have live theater performances as well as show films and do art exhibits.

We think this is another species of eucalyptus.  They line almost all the streets, are huge with a great canopy of leaves that give shade to the sidewalks and in some cases the entire street. View down to the beach, also lined with trees, there is a set of steps and a wooden walkway for those of us having problems making the stairs. An amphitheater located on the Playa Mansa.  It has live performances and even dancing on the weekends.  Many just come to the beach with their yerba mate tea or snack and watch the sun set.  The Yerba Mate Tea is almost like a religion here, we saw many many folks with their mate cup, thermos filled with hot water, silver straw and even some have a leather carrying case for their tea. See below. When we originally flew into Montevideo from Santiago Chile one of the national futbol teams from Montevideo were returning from a match in Chile. There were as many of these mate kits as carry-on luggage!

This is my full mate set all together. There are two containers, one for yerba and one for sugar. The mate, straw and thermos, all held together in a beautiful bag.

Enjoying a well deserved rest after another one of our walks.  The town is lovely and we have decided to make it our home. House hunting news to follow.

Shopping Cart or Like I Call It The Old Lady Cart

montevideo-2-12-34Some days our shopping consists of just a few bags, but those bags can be heavy. Getting a taxi is easy but the supermarket is only 2 blocks from the apartment. So if we can walk it we do. In our walking around town we noticed so many people young and old alike pulling one of these carts behind them while they were walking home.  For $15 we bought this beauty and have used it several times both from the Supermarket and the Sunday Market.

It holds a good amount of packages, is pretty easy to either push or pull and stores well right next to the front door so we will remember to take it when we shop.

Yes, I hear ya, we are officially old.  Bring it on!!!

Milanesa, Another Great Culinary Treat In Uruguay

montevideo-2-19This milanesa is a pounded chicken breast. We have found that every food store, day market called a feria and even small tiendas called almacens have these tasty meats available.  In Tienda Inglesia you can find them breaded ready to cook or already cooked and ready to eat.  We found these above at our Sunday market all ready to be cooked.  The first time we went to this market day so many of the older women were buying up packets of these – must have been for Sunday lunch with family. They looked like pretty experienced cooks so we decided to follow suit and buy a few for our Sunday lunch.  Well they were wonderful, flavored bread crumbs or cracker crumbs on a thin piece of chicken breast, heat a bit of oil in a pan and sauté and you are ready to eat.

I would definitely buy these again. I covered mine in Bolognese sauce and some mozzarella cheese and Joe’s in Caruso sauce which is very popular here.  Caruso sauce was first created in the 1950s in Uruguay by Raymundo Monti of the restaurant ‘Mario and Alberto’, located at the intersection of Constituyente and Tacuarembó Streets in Montevideo. Monti wanted to create a new recipe following the current traditions of Italian Cuisine. The dish was named in honor of the famous Neapolitan tenor Enrico Caruso (1873–1921) who was a popular figure in South America during his tours of the 1910s. It is a rich cream sauce with mushrooms and ham, it became known as Caruso sauce and is sold fresh in the refrigerator section of most grocery stores here.