Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dinner at the El Escocés


Outside the El Escoces
Dinner was most definitely going to be a parrilla.  Or "barbecue" as they call it for us Americanos.  Even though what's on the grill is steak and not cheap cuts of meat cooking low and slow
The grill ready for the meats
I was seated right next to the fire in the small dining area.  The restaurant looked great.  Lots of dark wood and the aroma of grilled beef.  And the steak?

Steak and potatoes.  The staple of the Uruguayan diet.
The steak looked great.  The steak smelled great.  So I bit into the juicy mouthwatering hunk of beef and chewed into it.  And ... I kept on chewing on it until I spit it out.  OK.  So the first bite had some gristle.  I took a second bite.  And ... it was like chewing on a handful of rubberbands.  Flavorful rubber bands.  But rubber bands nonetheless.  About a third to half the steak was nasty.  The other half was like butter.  The baked potato was great.  And you might be wondering why you see a steak, a potato and no glass of red wine to accompany this carnivore feast.

Well, the wine never came.  It was on my bill.  And they were apologetic about removing it from my bill.  Or at least they seemed apologetic I couldn't really tell with the "un poquito" Spanish I speak.

And then it hit me.  Between no taxi at the airport.  No tour guide at the Plaza Independencia.  No tannat to go with my steak.  And, worst of all, a steak that had the texture of chewing on a bunch of garden hoses held together by duct tape (albeit with a much better flavor) ... I'm not feeling the "vacation magic" on this trip.

"Vacation magic" is that euphoric feeling that all is perfect with your trip.  It's that serendipitous feeling you feel when things don't go according to plan, but something even better and more wonderful than the plan happens.  And I definitely felt that feeling of "vacation magic" in Panama.  But not yet in Montevideo.  Oh well.  There's still most of the trip to go.

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