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Aug 29, 2007 07:30 PM

Chilian Restaurants

Going to Santiago for a few days and want to whet my appetite. Is there a local restaurant around here that serves any thing close to give me an idea of what's in store, and speaking of which,are there any markets/points of interest down there I should not miss ? Thanks and I appreciate it.

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  1. I spent some time in Chile in December 2005. Upon returning I hoped to find Chilean food in the area, but alas I was unable to do so. Peruvian is pretty close, and I believe there are a few places (but none that I have tried). Mio has "world cuisine" and they make a mean Pisco Sour (a sweet cocktail typically served at bars in both Chile and Peru--slightly different in both countries, but good nonetheless). As far as food in Chile goes, nothing in Santiago stood out as wonderful. We had an amazing meal in Vina del Mar but I can't remember the name of it, plus if you'll only be in Santiago it's not worth looking into anyways!
    Be sure to enjoy some Chilean wine while you're there though. Carmenere is a red which is only produced in Chile as that is the only place where the grapes grow. I also enjoy Malbec and have seen many Argentinean versions of this (in the U.S.) but I believe they produce it in Chile as well.
    Enjoy your trip.

    1. I know of no Chilean restaurants here. While there, make sure you try "machas," clams topped with parmesan cheese. I could eat a ton! In addition to the wine, seafood in general is your best bet. A late lunch is the big meal of the day. The Mercado Central is fun. Enjoy.

      1. Went to Chile in April and have not found any food like what I had - BUT, a Peruvian friend told me that there is a place in Bailey's Crossroads that serves the ice cream flavors I fell in love with - Lucama and Chile Moya (which translates as "custard apple" but it doesn't taste like apple). I ate ice cream every day while there - I highly recommend it.

        I had a Pisco Sour at Cafe Atlantico and decided the ones I make are better - I brought pisco brandy back with me, and found a recipe on the internet.

        I also second the rec for the Mercado Central for lunch - it's crazy and fun and the seafood is quite good - very fresh. I'm not sure what I ate but it all tasted good!

        4 Replies
        1. re: beachgirl54

          What's the place with the exotic ice cream? Are you talking about that trailer in front of the little Salvadorian/Mexican homey restaurant on Leesburg Pike across from the Culmore strip mall (Peking Gournet, Post Office)?

          1. re: MikeR

            Sorry, I don't know the name. My friend told me (a while ago) it is perpendicular to Route 7, on the side of one of the strip malls - I think she said the one closer to Carlin Springs, on the right side if you're heading west. It's a restaurant, not just an ice cream parlor. If I can get more info, I will pass it on.

            1. re: beachgirl54

              The ice cream you are talking about is York Castle, a tropical ice cream place in Silver Spring which distributes to various small markets and restaurants in the mid-atlantic region.

              The lucuma is made from mamey. This is one of my favorite fruits, and it makes a terrific ice cream. Mamey shakes are served throughout Miami.

              Cherimoya is custard apple, also called sweetsop. A nice, sweet tropical fruit, but not as delicious as soursop, also called guanabana. As the name implies, soursop has a citrus-like sour component which makes it my very favorite fruit flavor. It is illegal to import fresh into this country, and is not grown commercially here, so is available only as a frozen pulp. OK, but cannot compete at all with the fresh fruit. Sigh.

              1. re: Steve

                Thanks Steve - I know about York Castle but there's another place in Bailey's (VA) - I will find out the location and post.

                The friends I traveled with in Chile immediately ran to York Castle and tried the lucama when I told them it existed in the states . . . and it was not the same as what we had in Chile. I think lucama is a different fruit than mamey - you cannot eat it off the tree, and it must be processed into a paste that you can then use to make ice cream, cake, etc. It it sold frozen in supermarkets and some of it may have made its way back in my luggage and may be in my freezer waiting to be used . . . but don't tell anyone!

        2. El Chalan on Eye (i) street and 20th is Chilean. (across from the Baja Fresh/Aroma/Smoothie place)

          Although I worked across the street for 2 months, I never got a chance to eat there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: WestIndianArchie

            El Chalan, although a perfectly good reasonably priced restaurant, is Peruvian and not Chilian.

          2. The original comment has been removed