I like vegetarians, they taste good. Nowhere else is this better understood than in South America, where meat isn’t just part of a meal…it’s the meal. Balanced diet? That’s when your plate has an equal amount of meat on all sides, right? Vegetables? We feed those to the animals, so it’s pretty much in the meat, right? Seemingly ridiculous to say at home, a proper South American parrilla (or asado) ignores the Surgeon General’s warnings about eating healthy for meat, meat, and more meat.
Where’s the beef? Such a question doesn’t even make sense to South Americans who love their beef with sides of chicken, sausage, fish and anything else that once moved under it’s own volition.
Forget about the Food Pyramid, just load up the grill with all my favorite things.
For a foodie South America is sure to disappoint. Beyond the posh restaurants in Sao Paulo, South America is an abyss of great eats. The only exception are these meat fests that can be had on almost every corner in Argentina and easily located in Uruguay, Brazil and Chile. They are a delight to the senses and attack on your health, but a must-eat while in the region.
WHEN YOU GO:
-Look for a Tenedor Libre with Parilla, or all-you-can-eat buffet. For $10-20 you can eat all the meat you want, cut fresh from the grill for you. They are the best places to try a variety of South American meats.
-Do it yourself. In many hostels there are grills, just waiting for you to light them up. Meats are crazy cheap in most supermarkets, so pick yourself up a few kilos and host your own asado, you’re sure to make new friends.
-Don’t forget the wine. Especially in Argentina and Chile, the local wines are designed to be paired with your meat indulgence. Try a dry Malbec or a fruity Carmenere to accompany your meal.