A Chilean Sandie at Chacarero

“Excuse me, where in Chile exactly are these from? I lived in Santiago for 5 months and I never ran into them.”
– “Habla epañol?”
- “Si. Weón, biben Santiago pero nunca bi etos sándwiche’. S’benden en la ciudad o en Valpo o el Norte…?
–  “Todos partes, carita.”
–  “Bacán. Que lo mejor?
–  “Con carne y todo po….bife, carita.
–  “Dos, porfa”

I met an old friend yesterday for lunch to catch up on life and we decided to finally check out what all the Financial District hype about this place, Chacarero, was really about. We talked about boyfriends, studies, jobs and our future in the 20 minute long line that seems characteristic of the place (no one getting into the line seemed surprised at the length of it). The Chilean register guy who greeted us at the front talked me through what to get in that Chilean twang only comprehendible by those who have lived (and drank) in the country – apparently I overlooked this amazing sandwich while living in Santiago. Boy do I wish I hadn’t…

I did recognize the ingredients though: Delicious, thin Chilean pan amasado (kneaded white bread), crisp on the outside with a doughy, biscuit-like texture on the inside. Hearty but tender and lean strips of churrasco steak with not an ounce of excess fat. Palta, palta, palta, the protagonist of every Chilean dish: avocado. Creamy, smooth, slightly minerally in flavor. Brought me back to Santiago, stumbling home from a party at dawn, cracking open one of these (10 for a dollar) gems, popping out the seed with the twist of a steak-knife and spreading the flesh on a layer of bread with a dollop of tube-mayo and black pepper sprinkled over the top. Pan con palta was breakfast-lunch-dinner-latenightmunchy for me for 5 months. The flavor of the avocado spread in this sandwich was heightened to spicy perfection by a layer of green-chili aji spread on top of it and the two of these flavors together melted beautifully with the smokey char of the steak. A layer of mild, slightly spicypanquehue cheese dotted with red pepper flakes melted over the steamy-hot steak, while a round of juicy fresh tomato added a wonderful freshness and moisture to the sandwich. The most pleasant surprise of an ingredient, however, was the crispy strings of green bean running perpendicular to the steak strips. They were cooked and blanched perfectly and provided a wonderful, leafy-green flavor and a great snap-crunch to an otherwise dense sandwich. The textures and flavors of this thing went together beautifully; unique, complex mouthfuls with each bite.

About these ads
Comments
One Response to “A Chilean Sandie at Chacarero”
Trackbacks
Check out what others are saying...
  1. [...] excessive amounts on everything. Thick layers of it show up in sandwiches (like the country’s signature, the chacarero). It is served as palta reina, a giant avocado topped with mayonnaise-packed chicken salad. It is [...]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers

%d bloggers like this: