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Rancho e Cuero 26/30

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Realizing that learning Spanish in Buenos Aires had hit a dead-end, I decided to try my luck in Mendoza, the center of Argentinean wine. For those of concerned about the wine supply from the future Islamic Republic of France, finding an alternate source is critical. Alas, Mendoza is not ready to fill the void in wine, but it nevertheless excels at steak.

It took an hour an a half to drive from town up to the foothills of the Andes, where my host owns 9,000 acres of his extended family’s 250,000 acres of land. He recently built a lodge for paying guests high up in the foothills, which comes with staff to prepare the house, the meals, and the horses. It was here on a lovely spring day that we settled down for a three hour asado.

The meal started with appetizers, including sautéed mushrooms on toast, cheese with sun-dried tomatoes, and poached quails eggs on toast. Then we moved inside for the meal. The steak was delicious. Cooked over an open flame, we had various different cuts of beef, including the tastiest chorizo I have ever had. The steak came along with a delicious tomato salsa, and multiple sides, including roast peppers and a delicious salad.

We worked off lunch by taking the horses far up into the hills, though we didn’t get to the glacier, which requires two nights of camping. Of course, if you do go for the glacier, they bring the asado up with you. We did come across some grazing cattle, but seeing us after three hours of eating, they knew they were safe ... for the moment.

Submitted by DO Jr.
November 19, 2005


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