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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The National Sandwich of Chile

The 'lomito' is a right of passage in Chilean culture. I'm told you haven't tasted Chile until you've had the lomito. After referring to my favorite travel book, Where Chefs Eat, and crosschecking numerous Anthony Bourdain show clips with locals opinions, I came to the conclusion that Fuente Alemana was the place to go to eat the famous sandwich.
Everything is made in a big open kitchen before your eyes by women dressed in old school diner-waitress attire. My waitress wasn't keen on communicating with me. It was clear that she didn't speak English and I did, yet my simple sentences in basic Spanish left her puzzled ("Uno lomito, por favor?"). It's clearly a fast paced atmosphere so fast ordering with zero questions will afford you a friendlier experience. Luckily, I had a third party communicator to help. Orlando, a native Chilean, offered to help translate. He was very helpful and informative while explaining the menu. 
A schop is a beer on tap, and that's exactly what we ordered. One dark and one light. Then we ordered the lomito. Slices of juicy pork are topped with tomato and an alarming amount of avocado and mayo. A sprinkle of salt and the sandwich is ready to be served between two slices of hearty sandwich bread. The amount of mayo that was on the sandwich actually overshadowed the fact that at least two whole avocados were mashed up on there as well. This was definitely a fork-and-knife sandwich. We also ordered the completo, which is the hot dog version of the lomito, plus sauerkraut and tomato sauce. It was frighteningly good, maybe even better than the lomito...

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