Monday, October 21, 2013

La Tranquera, La Paz, Bolivia

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Where do you eat when you are in La Paz? How about La Tranquera? It's a steakhouse with a huge salad bar. Technically speaking, you can just have the salad bar but the price difference is pretty drastic so if you eat meat, it's a better value to get the sizzling steak with chorizo (or just the steak) since it comes with the salad bar.

Then, you can stuff yourself with protein and carbs!

Highlights:
Fried Yucca, The pasta dishes, the key lime pie dessert, and the veggies. It's not so easy to find good veggie dishes in the carb and protein laden Bolivian diet so eat up when you can.


If you're not stuffed already, please do yourself a favor and order the Arroz con Queso. It is a Bolivian version of risotto, but more gooey and less rice-y. Very cheesy and pungent but amazing with the llajua and the steak juice. Yum, I'm dying here just thinking about this. I also ordered the Silpancho, which is a traditional Bolivian dish with rice, a thin layer of schnitzel-style meat (aka milanesa), followed by a layer of chopped tomato/onions/beets/parsley (Bolivian pico de gallo), and a fried egg.  This dish reminds of loco moco.

The pricing is a bit more hefty especially compared to how cheap you can eat in La Paz but if you're staying in the Camino Real Aparthotel, closeby, or want a nice gourmet meal to offset all the street food you're eating, you won't regret it. Bolivian steakhouse culture is different from American steakhouse culture so you might as well chalk it up to culinary research and dig in.




La Tranquera
Located inside the Camino Real Aparthotel
Calle Capitan Ravelo #2123
La Paz, Bolivia

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Finca Altozano, Baja California, Mexico

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The latest trip down to Baja California with my girlfriends was super fun. We stayed at a really cute B&B in the Valle de Guadalupe called Casa Encinares and stumbled upon Big Gay Weekend and were welcomed into a fun filled crazy weekend. The three of us were the only estrogen in the group and also the most tired. How the heck do people have so much energy??

We had some time to ourselves and got away to check out Finca Altozano, another one of Javier Plascencia's restaurants. It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, though the Valle de Guadalupe is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. But we were excited to find a cute little area with interesting outdoor seating made from giant barrels. The vista was incredible.

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We came right around when the sun was setting, which made for a beautiful dinner out, but not the best for pictures.

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The setup is basically outdoors, with the majority of the restaurant underneath a roof (but no walls).

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I took a pic of the menu at the time that we were there (prices are in pesos).

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And now the bad pics will start:

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Pulp del Pacificos a las brasas.
The octopus. So good.

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Calabazas rellena de quesos oreado.
Cheese filled zucchini. These were a good accompaniment but not mind-blowing.

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Borrego (lamb) de Rancho Cortes a la Caja China
This is the dish that everyone talks about. If you're a lamb person you'll love it.
If not, you will feel so so about it. Ours was cold by the time we ate it so it wasn't the best.

The night grew dark and cold really fast and service kept slowing down. It was to the point where once we got the food, it was pretty cold. We weren't sure if it was the weather or the lag but in any case it definitely took away from our experience. No one wants to eat congealed animal fat.


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Cordoniz (quail) Asada en Leña
This dish could have been good if it wasn't cold. Just saying.


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Polenta Vaquera (comes with chorizo and egg).
I would eat this hot or cold, day or night but it would be especially good
for BRUNCH.


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I don't remember what this chuck of meat was to be honest.
I was so drunk by this time (to keep warm) that I don't remember.

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