Earlier today we ventured a short walk from the guest house to the Montevideo Port Market, which has been referred to as “Disneyland for carnivores.” Once inside, we spent perhaps a half-hour walking from stall to stall, watching the masters work their grills and attempting to gauge how happy their customers appeared. The wood smoke filled the air all the way up to the rafters, so much so that several hours later we can still smell the smoke in our clothes.
We finally chose a stall, based rather arbitrarily on the fact the host tried to speak to us in some language that may have been English and poured us each a small cup of Uruguayan sparkling wine as we passed by. We noticed later the other two guests from the guest house — there are only two rooms there — had chosen the same stall at the Port Market, but they sat at the bar while we sat at a table.
Our waiter spoke almost no English, but as is often the case I supplemented my beyond-terrible Spanish with the international language of pointing. At first I pointed at the menu, and then when communication broke down on what beer I wanted — usually one of the easier times I have in a foreign language — I pointed at the beer on another table.
We drank our beer and sparkling water family style, since it appeared most other diners were doing so and since I like sharing with Kathryn. The beer was Zillertal, a national brand. I’d had another national brand Pilsen the previous night and was not impressed, but Zillertal was good enough.
When the main course arrived, I was a little surprised by the quantity of food we received. Each plate had probably a pound of perfectly medium-rare tenderloin and enough fries to be a meal themselves. It was a good thing we’d skipped breakfast. Somehow we managed to eat nearly everything on our plates.
We attempted to walk off our lunch with a long stroll through the port and the old city. Now we’re back in our room for a late afternoon siesta to taper off our meat sweats. It may be a salad for dinner tonight.