Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mendoza: Day Three: Asado at Hostel Lao

Dear Chicago,

It was no surprise that Sweeney and I were tired after a busy weekend! It was almost a blessing that everything in Mendoza was closed for the National Holiday, because we would have been hard pressed to fit in another day of museums and sight seeing. We instead took a long walk into downtown Mendoza to see their 'central park' - Parque San Martin. It was well worth the hour walk each way:

After the long walk we got back to the hostel in time for the big Sunday afternoon asado, which took place on the holiday. I couldn't have imagined a more lovely event - the tables were set for about 25 people, which included the hostel guests, hostel owners and their parents, siblings and a little two year old nephew. I got the recipe for Proveleta (provolone) on the grill, a rustic way to serve hot cheese and bread. Delicious. The group of us sipped wine from Mason jars and snacked while the meat cooked over a hot wood fired open oven:

The meal began at 1:ooPM. 20 bottles of red wine accompanied salad, bread, grilled sweet onions and half a dozen different types of meat! We had ribs, flank steak, a soft meat marinated in lemon and garlic. There were big bowls of rustic olive oil and mixed spices to spoon onto everything - the salad, bread, meat. It was unbelievable. The hostel owners were an adorable couple named Mike and Celeste. I sat near Celeste's parents and heard funny stories about the family. I was also seated near a funny guy from Estonia and girls from New York who had just come from Colombia. All had amazing stories to share. At 6:30pm, lunch was still going strong. Sweeney and I had to excuse ourselves to go catch the bus!

During our meal:

The aftermath:

It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. I could not have imagined a better time spent over more varied experiences. I was so content that I curled up for the long bus ride home. Woke up once: I had to have a peek out the window to see what the stars looked like over the central plains of Argentina... unfortunately, no words to describe those, either.

Muy Contento Tess

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