One of the great Uruguayan traditions is the parrilla. Translated to barbecue, the parrilla is a large grill filled with delicious cooking meat. And you eat the meat with friends and family. You can have a parrilla at any time, but Sundays are the big days. Most people in Montevideo spend time with their families on Sunday and a parrilla is the best way to feed everyone. So I decided to spend my Sunday with my Uruguayan family: my city sisters, Ana and Katie.
One of the more famous places to experience the parrilla in Montevideo is Mercado de Puerto. It is filled with copious open-air restaurants all with sizzling meats cooking on large grills.
The smells wafting from the market immediately makes you salivate. Wood and meat couple in the air making you a bit lightheaded with happiness. Sizzling steaks, sausages, and chicken hiss all around, promising full bellies and content people. You
have the to option to sit at the bar or at tables. We opted for the bar so we could watch the parrilla in the works. The menu was filled with all of the different options of cuts. They use the whole cow here. It isn’t unusual to have some interesting items in your parrilla. We ordered a parrilla for two. It came with a size salad. We also ordered a side steak of a more lean cut from the asado cut (much to the protests of our waiter). Drinking our wine, laughing, and observing the scenes around us, we waited for our meat. Then this showed up…
I have never had such instant happy overcome me before. When this gigantic pile of meat gets set down in front of you, every part of your body just wiggles with excitement. Our parrilla had two chickens, four or five asado cuts, two blood sausages, three chorizos, and intestines. I liked everything but the intestines. They were a little too chewy for me. It was like eating a balloon. They have good flavor though.
We ate and ate and ate. Oh my gosh, each bit was absolutely perfect. They may not have spice in this country, but they do meat right! I legitimately cannot even describe! By the time we looked up, we realized we had not even made a dent. So I learned how
to ask for an Uruguayan doggie bag. Let me tell you, we were wicked excited to wake up the next morning and realize we can make steak and chicken sandwiches and salads.
We ended our day at the Wine Experience, the same place I went to for the wine tasting. It really is an amazing bar! The owner, Nicholas was there and did not disappoint with his selections. Both bottles were amazing! I remembered back to my previous Sundays where I had to plan and grade papers all day. I think I much prefer them here!