Uruguay: The King of all Sandwiches

Amidst much disappointment in Uruguay, there is always something I can go back to to remind me about how fortunate and amazing it is to be in Uruguay – CHIVITOS!

As I was recovering from my stupid stomach flu in the crappy hostel I was living in in Montevideo, I was surfing the net looking for interesting places to eat. I stumbled upon a place where apparently Anthony Bourdain visited for lunch. I quote:

“The first thing I need to talk about is the chivito, because it’s the best sandwich I’ve tasted in my life, including the venerated & thousand times described pastrami sandwich of New York and the mortadella and cheese sandwich from the market of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Really, the chivito is too good to be true; it’s almost impossible to eat because of how tall it is. Moreover, the idea of putting together beef, bacon, ham and cheese in the same bite, without counting all the other things it contains, is incredible. What’s more, in the US you could be arrested for daring to eat something like this. For me, any country that embraces this as its national sandwich is great!”

So I visited the same place Bourdain went to. Again, google map gave me the wrong location, so I ended up being about 15 blocks away from the right place. But when I got there, I knew it was worth it. The picture on the signboard got my heart racing. It was just a magnificent looking burger.

I went over to the counter and say about 6 kinds of sauces and 6 different kinds of topping like mushroom and peppers. I ordered one and the chef asked me whether I wanted bacon and ham. I got so excited I just kept saying “Si!” And thats all I kept saying.

Peppers. Si. Mushrooms. Si. Olives. Si. Basically I just kept saying si like a greedy american. And what I ended up with was a glorious tall sandwich that made me smile, so perfectly stacked that I can’t believe it isn’t falling apart just looking at it. I looked at the fork and knife given to me and decided, screw this, I’m eating my burger the traditional way. I then attempted to stuff the burger into my mouth, making a giant mess everywhere.

Wow. I was in heaven. This is some crazy burger. A fresh slice of beef, layers of ham, a bunch of bacon, topped with melt cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and whole bunch of topping, smeared with some ketchup mayonnaise. Oh God. I’m in heaven.

The thing is that I dont see why in the US, you will be arrested for eating this. In fact, I think people in the US should start embracing chivitos. It’s time we throw out that cheeseburgers with the frozen beef patties, and bring in a new age – the chivitos era! Seriously. This sandwich is pretty amazing.

Which of course explains why I have had one every single day I’m in Uruguay. Despite all the disappointments, all I need to have is a chivito, fritas, a cold bottle of Pilsen, and the sunny warm beaches of Uruguay, and everything is forgiven. Even that crap hostel I had to live in for 3 nights in Montevideo.

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