La Pippona

Empanadas anyone? What we are used to is a fried empanada with more crust than filling. These empanadas from La Pippona are light and flaky baked crusts with filling galore. We have tried several of them and so far our favorites are the Mexicana which is super spicy for Uruguay and the Ham and Cheese which is filled with chunks of great ham and a rich creamy melty cheese.  I failed to tell you we did order a little pizza as well, this went into the fridge for another meal.Each empanada is marked with dots to represent what the filling inside is and is delivered to your door hot and ready to just dig in.

But we have also fallen in love with the Lebanese open-faced Lehmeyun. These thin crusted pizza like flat treats are covered with a meat and spice mixture – this is so different yet so wonderful it sparks your taste buds.  Sprinkle a little fresh lemon juice (slices provided with your meal) on top and you are transported to an even better taste experience.

And to top off an already great meal they have dessert empanadas. Yes, you heard me correct.  We have tried two of the four desserts offered and really loved them.  One is an empanada apple pie, hot from the oven excellent. Just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon, thin sliced apples, divine is the only word that can describe this dessert. Actually tastes like the pies Mom used to make. As well as the National Postre (dessert) for all of Uruguay Dulce de Leche we ordered the one with chocolate chips. Honestly not so overly sweet just right for Joe and I to share.

In our research on Uruguay we saw so many comments about the lack of food choices here.  We have not found that to be true at all. The food varieties are wonderful, you have your pastas even with a special day the 29th of each month where noquis are on the menu at almost every restaurant. You have your choice of flame cooked meats from pork, beef, lamb, chicken as well as sausages galore and if your taste runs to innards they do that as well. Our favorite restaurant so far in Atlantida is Don Vito, the food, the service, the atmosphere are just perfect for our Sunday lunch. They have seafood choices, chivitos, pasta, salads, pizzas and meats as well as a beautiful display case filled with desserts to die for.  While in Montevideo we found Tres Fuegos had similar service and food. We have found hamburger restaurants serving just hamburgers, beef or veggie like our favorite Rudy Burgers on 26 de Marzo in Montevideo’s Nuevo  Pocitos section.  You want Japanese we have found several, even in Atlantida we have Sushi Brothers (will be doing a post on them real soon). Are you into seafood? The supermarkets have several varieties of local fresh fish and in Atlantida we even have a fish monger if you really want it fresh. Montevideo has Indian restaurants even take out Indian is available.

I just don’t see an issue with the choices. What we have learned since moving from the US in 2006 is you may have to do a little work to have what you want to eat. I have learned how to make so many things from scratch and that only makes me a better cook and we have more wholesome food and eat so much better as I can control what goes into my food when I use fresh ingredients. So you like Thai make it at home you can find most ingredients at your local supermarket.  Want Thai Spring rolls, make them. Here the supermarket has spring roll wraps, sushi nori, rice noodles, tahini, soy and oyster sauce, wasabi powder…you want to make Pho they have the spices and other ingredients needed to make your own home-made version.

It’s all part of the great adventure. You need to go with it.

 

Restaurante Don Vito

There are several nice restaurants within about 6-8 blocks of our home.  Don Vito happens to be one that we have frequented several times. It has a really big menu from pizza to steaks and pasta and seafood and so much in between.

We started our dining at Don Vito’s with chivitos when we came here a few months ago looking for a house to rent. But soon moved up to Sunday steak dinners.  The food is plentiful and Joe and I found we could order one meal and just split it and that is more than enough for us.

The steak we chose has been on the Chefs suggestion special daily menu. Bife Ancho similar to a sirloin as it is a thick cut, but tender like a tenderloin. The cut is like rib eye. We ask it to be cooked very rare. It is cooked on the parrilla which is a style of roasting meat over wood. It came with a baked white potato, a baked orange sweet potato, a roasted red pepper as well as rolls and a condiment tray which had chimichurri, an assorted chopped up pickled veggies and a mayo garlic and herb spread that we actually used on our baked potato. Yesterday we ordered an OJ for me as I am fighting a cold and a cappuccino for Joe and the total bill including a 10% tip was 669 pesos or $24. It was great this is the third Sunday we had it for lunch, so much food we can’t fit anything for dinner.

The kids love that they have a few parrots at the front of the restaurant.  Keeps them busy while their parents enjoy a nice lunch.

It was a beautiful sunny day for an enjoyable outdoor dining experience.  This happens to be our favorite restaurant so far.