So about 2 weeks ago we went to dinner at a small Argentinian restaurant here in San Cristóbal. Initially, there was some confusion about what menu items were available that evening, and how much any of the three bottles of wine we were shown would cost us. Finally, though, the owner showed up, and the rubber really hit the road. We got our wine, placed our orders, and the food came back amazing. Jessica and I both call it maybe the best chicken of our lives (and we had different dishes).
On the basis of this past success, last night we decided to go back to our little Argentinian restaurant, with our new English-teacher friend, Peter. Actually, we were kind of corralled into the place, as it was dumping down rain, and we were going door-to-door, trying to find a place to take us in. The first two places we ducked into were closed, so we ended up Argentine.
3 words: Worst Dinner Ever. Seriously. 2 weeks after a shockingly delicious meal, last night we were treated to the greatest restaurant disaster I've ever been witness to. We waited 3 hours...to order. At first they didn't have charcoal for the grill. Later there wasn't any chicken, salmon, or potatoes (critical ingredients to nearly everything on the menu). The oven exploded at one point – it had been on but unlit for some time, I guess – burning the cook's arms (we felt very bad about this). Finally, after 3 1/2 hours, our chicken – frozen, not fresh – was served with a 'tomato sauce', i.e. ketchup, and arrived 25 minutes before Peter's salmon. We had both finished everything on our plates, despite waiting as long as we could and eating slowly, before his dinner arrived.
How did this happen? Why did we stay? Well, the first 90 minutes was really pretty enjoyable, what with our wine, good conversation, yummy bread, and jokes about the uncertain fate of our meal. And, to be fair, when we ducked in from the rain, they told us it would be "20 minutes" until the kitchen was up and running. Then, as things got really dicey, they just kept running out and coming back with this or that, telling us that "any minute now", everything was going to slide into place. And we couldn't help but imagine, like last time, that the owner would at some point burst through the door, disappear into the kitchen, and emerge, moments later, with steaming platters of deliciousness. I guess by now you know that never happened.
On another point entirely, thanks to Ephraim for reminding us to get the Ocelot (actually a Margay, we think) up here. The pretty Brazilian kitty is below (thanks mom for the great picture).