Monday, May 26, 2014
Santiago's BEST Lunch - El Hoyo
I did enough research to know that I want to eat at El Hoyo, a name that means 'the hole' as in, a hole in the wall. First off, Anthony Bourdain went there so that alone has me interested, I won't lie. I wanted traditional food and an authentic dining experience. We walked 3.5 miles from the hotel to El Hoyo. From what I heard about the food, I knew that walking there would eliminate some of the guilt of eating the monstrous portions we were about to indulge in. Santiago is the safest city in South America so walking was an enjoyable experience. Except when we hit the halfway mark and I started to wish we were there already. So lazy.
We arrived on San Vicente, a quirky residential street with multiple pastel colored houses and a bright purple building sticking out in the neighborhood sky. Down the street was a cute cantina, more quaint than I expected, with wine barrels decorating the facade. We sat inside, and were served by Anthony Bourdains waiter. Good start already! The bread basket arrived, it was crunchy and delicious with the super spicy salsa. We ordered a pitcher of Terremoto, it means earthquake and it's a mixture of wine called pipeño mixed with pineapple sorbet. Our waiter mixed it table side until it was frothy. It tasted sweet but it packed a punch, as I slowly noticed my cheeks getting hot from the alcohol.
We ordered the arrollado and the pernil. The arrollado is a unique dish made from marinated beef bits rolled up in pork skin, then cooked in a loaf and sliced. Honestly, I was disappointed when I saw it because I thought it looked like mystery meat bits in a lard roll with boiled potatoes. I also heard that Chilean food can be bland so I wasn't sure what the taste would do for me. I was blown away by how flavorful and tender the meat was. Best meal in Santiago hands down. Aside from the skin and the bits of fat, it was incredible! The locals ate the fat and skin but I wasn't ready for that. The pernil is pork shoulder. It also looked barbaric and bland on the plate with boiled potatoes but again, it blew us away. The skin trapped in all the juices of the meat and it literally fell off the bone. We were so disgusted with ourselves afterwards for cleaning our plates but this was a meal that would go down in history.