We spent the month of October in Buenos Aires. Up until then we had been on the move for almost two months, and while the travelling was amazing, we were starting to feel like we might all benefit from settling in one place for a little longer than a week.
Our plan for the month was to hunker down, save some money, try to improve our respective Spanish levels (more on this in an upcoming post) and find some enjoyable child-centric things to do together. All of this, we managed to achieve (except the save the money part – did someone say budget?) with – to our immense delight – a few additional gems squeezed in as well.
Buenos Aires is pretty dreamy. Beautiful to look at, fun to be in, it is grand, individual and full of life. We spent the first few days strolling about, admiring the architecture, mincing around in parks and generally just enjoying the relative stability of knowing we didn’t have to pack up all our belongings again any time soon.
The Rosedal – one of the many beautiful parks of Palermo
Rather than do a blog on Food in Uruguay, (similar to our previous one from Brazil) this time we’re honing in on one particular location that we think encapsulates what food is all about here – the Puerto Mercado or Port Market, situated (unsurprisingly) close to the port on the north side of Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja (old town).
One of the recurring images I would think about before we came on this trip was the three of us in Argentina gorging ourselves on high quality, cheap steak and red wine. And it was only as I began to look a little closer at Uruguay that it became apparent we would have the chance to be doing exactly that a little earlier than expected. Uruguay loves beef. Uruguay loves meat. In a country where close to half the population of 3 million live in Montevideo there are vast swathes of sparsely populated interior plains where cows (and cowboys) are the only living things you’ll come across. Indeed it is the only country that keeps tracks of 100% of its cattle, cattle that outnumber humans by three to one. With that in mind it’s no surprise that beef (and meat more generally) is big here.
Our limited research (a quick read of Lonely Planet South America) told us that THE place to eat beef alongside the locals is in the Puerto Mercado, particularly at the weekend. So last Saturday, the day after we arrived in Montevideo, we took that advice and headed down there.