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.

Yerba Maté

Yerba Maté (pronounced mah-teh) is not just tea, it is a way of life and a cultural tradition that you can see everywhere in Uruguay. From an office worker on his/her way to work to a gaucho – folks carry their mate cups called gourds, straws called bombilla and hot water thermos everywhere they go. Some even have a fancy leather carrying case just for their maté. Morning or evening it is always maté time.

While Joe and I were flying from Santiago Chile to Montevideo our plane had the entire Montevideo futbol team Cerro on it.  Many of the players had their maté essentials with them for the flight. That was the first time we had seen the complete set including the leather carrying case.

There is a process to making Yerba Maté the right way.  I am not in any way an expert but I have drunk it many times over the past several years but never in the gourd. I will tell you what I have read and heard about that process. First folks have their favorite brand of maté, they come in pretty large bags the size of a 5 lb sack of flour is the largest I have seen down to very small bags.

You put the dry Yerba Maté into your cup, add a small amount of hot water, not boiling, to wet the maté which activates it.  Allow about 30 seconds for the water to infuse the leaves. Fill the cup with more water and insert the straw called the bombilla. You do not move the bombilla once inserted, no stirring, no messing with the bombilla. If offered a cup of maté you would drink the entire cup, no stirring the straw and return to the owner. Sharing a cup of maté is a very common practice here.  Locals refill the cup until the thermos of hot water is empty. Using the maté grounds 4 or 5 times. And many restaurants will sell just hot water for your mate – there are even vending machines for just hot water.

Uruguayans as well as many Argentinians enjoy this tea all day long.  I have even heard stories that folks wake up early, have their maté and then go back to bed.

Below are just a few examples of the complete set being sold in the mall currently.

Now lets talk bombillas. Oh my, what a selection is available here. Most I have seen have been silver, with all different types of screens to stop the leaves from coming up the straw.

Just another cultural difference that we are learning about.

A Few Differences in Spanish from Ecuador to Uruguay

We have only been here a very short time but have found many differences in the Spanish used here in Uruguay compared to Ecuador and Panama. First the dialect spoken in Uruguay is called Rioplatense for the River Basin that runs into the ocean here in Uruguay bordering Argentina.

Here are just a few of the language and pronunciation differences:

  • English           Spanish Ecuador   Spanish Uruguay
  • suitcase                maleta                      valija
  • shoe                     zapato                      calzato
  • pineapple             pina                          anana
  • avocado               aguacate                  palta
  • market                 mercado                   feria
  • typical greeting   como esta                 que tal
  • you                       tu                             vos
  • y or ll                    ja or ya                    sh sound
  • butter                   mantequilla              mantica
  • cone (ice cream) cono                         bocha
  • chicken                pollo                         pollo  pronounced ll like sh – posho
  • beach                   playa                        playa  pronounced y like sh – plasha
  • boardwalk            malecon                   la rambla
  • red pepper           pimiento rojo            morron
  • sweet potato        camote                     boniato
  • ketchup                salsa de tomate       ketchup
  • hot sauce             aji                             Tabasco

There are so many differences in the language but it is exciting learning something new.

Fashion is different as well, of course coming from the coast of Ecuador we mostly wore shorts, tank tops and flip-flops. Here the women’s shoe styles are so different I had to write an entire article on the shoes alone, I posted that a few weeks back. But they also are wearing long skirts or long dresses as well as knee-length and longer sweaters or vests.  Many people walk around with their maté cup, straw (called a bombilla) and thermos everywhere they go, all day and all night long. Some even have a leather carrying case to hold everything. Also, there are many brands of maté and they come in huge bags.  Drinking yerba maté has been elevated to an art form here.  I will do an entire post on these in the near future.

So we keep learning and keep enjoying our new culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tannat – My New Wine

Uruguay is a little country but has some big wines being produced here.

I really like a hearty dry red wine and my first choice has always been Cabernet Sauvignon. But as I got older it started to cause stomach issues. So I gave it up and went to a nice Merlot – again, very nice but soon one glass effected my stomach.  Finally we found Shiraz and then Malbec…and as with the others one glass became an issue. So I stopped drinking red wine.  You know you just can’t give everything up just because you are getting older. For goodness sake one lousy glass of wine should not cause such a problem, but it did.

Even before we arrived in Montevideo Joe suggested I try Uruguayan Tannat. He had read many articles about this wine when he was doing his research on our making the move.  He wanted me to give it a try once we got here. Well so far so good.  It is the only red wine that I have had that does not require a long breathing process.  You open the bottle and it is ready to drink. No swirling, no waiting around for it to aerate and no special aeration spout – nothing, just open and enjoy. Don Pascual is a product of Uruguay and quite inexpensive at U$S 5.89 at the local supermarket. That is what I have tried and so far it has been a wonderful drink, very hearty but not harsh, has a wonderful fruity taste and packs a punch.  One glass is my limit.

Above is the supermarkets box Tannat. Nice especially for the low price of U$S 2.79 a liter.

We hope to take a tour through some of the vineyards in our area. There is a tour company located right in our soon to be new hometown of Atlantida. So I am excited about checking out what Uruguay has to offer.

 

Rosita’s Tasty Little Food Truck

On the block above the Montevideo Mall you will find this cute little food truck. Joe read a blog article by a visitor who stayed in our area of Montevideo and this guy praised the food so of course, we had to try it. Joe decided on the chorizo completo (sausage with all the goodies) and we were not disappointed. It was a juicy fresh sausage of good quality with mozzarella cheese, ham, bacon and sauces and toppings. Joe picked the local spicy mustard and marron which are cooked red peppers along with onions and mushrooms.

It was served in a bag to keep all the goodness from spilling on your clothes.  It was wonderful and we will need to have one again very soon.  I do have to tell you that the place was spotless the chrome sparkled it was so clean. The cost was $3.75 USD

Shoe Styles Here In Uruguay

The first thing I must tell you is that fashion has taken a back seat for the past 7 years while living in Ecuador.  First we lived the entire time on the coast so flip-flops, shorts, tank tops and super casual was the order of the day. Actually it was very hard to find any type of covered shoe, only open toe or like I said flip-flops. And most shoes for women only went up to size 8 1/2. For a sneaker I need room so I want a 9 1/2 or better yet a 10 for them to be a comfortable walking shoe. With that being said it was kind of culture shock when we arrived in Montevideo.  The women were wearing these long dresses or long skirts everywhere plus these huge platform shoes and sandals with 4 or 5 inch platforms that looked like truck tires.

Also, it is a throwback to the 80’s. Most music that you hear in restaurants and the malls is 80’s USA music.  The Uruguayans seem to love everything 80’s.  I am not sure when this style of shoe was introduced back in the US, but I know I have not seen anything like it in years.

Here are a few pictures of what they are showing here for the fall.  Yes, we are in fall now going into our first winter. Every day an adventure! For me personally, I do not like this style.  But I am sure for the younger gals it would be wonderful.