Sunday, July 31, 2011

Restaurant Review - Molokai

I went to Molokai with a friend about a month ago, and I wanted to rave a little bit about it because it was such a nice surprise here in Mendoza. And I have a blog, so rave I will. I've been eating at some great places lately, so there are going to be a few posts like this in quick succession. Be prepared.

The food at Molokai is really, really good - and not traditional Argentine either. It's molecular gastronomy without getting a little too weird about it, if that makes sense. Everything has a foam on top of it, but it's not overdone or too bold.

The place itself is cool; trendy but not uncomfortable, and a unique setting compared to the same old yellow-tablecloth cafeteria-lighting restaurants they have here in spades.

I think it's a pretty great deal for the money because the portions are huge and for dinner for 2, it was about $350 pesos including 2 appetizers, 2 entrees and a bottle of wine.

We tried the salmon foccaccia and the pear and roquefort salads for appetizers. They were both huge and really tasty. My friend and I both commented that we'd be happy with just those dishes as our whole meal, if not at least for a lunch.
For entrees, I got the Hungarian goulash, which was pretty awesome considering the spaetzle was perfect and the beef was Argentine beef. My friend had the bife de chorizo with croquettes.

Basically, the food was awesome and the place is really cool, so I'm excited to go back again soon. It's located at Belgrano 1169, between Espejo and Sarmiento (I think???) in the city center. Open Monday to Saturday from 8pm to 1:30am.

Copa America Semifinals - aka ZZZZZZZZ

Oh My God - I never would have believed you if you told me a soccer game in one of the most important tournaments would be boring as sh*t. But, alas, it happened.

I paid $250 pesos for a ticket to go see the Copa America semi-final game here in Mendoza at the stadium in the Parque General San Martin. If all went the way it should have gone, it was going to be between Brazil & Chile. Awesome. I'd love to see Brazil play. But, somehow everyone in the whole tournament choked except Uruguay, so Brazil & Chile were knocked out and sent home before the semifinal round. I'm not even gonna go into Argentina's heartbreaking loss against Uruguay.

What did this mean?
That I got to go see Paraguay and Venezuela play each other. Wow..the excitement was palpable even to Helen Keller.

Look at all those fans!

It. Was. BORING.

The highlights of the game were the ref getting pegged by the ball (hilarious, actually), the Chileans who were still in Mendoza singing Chile chants and the Argentines singing back anti-Chilean chants, and the stray dog that just came up the stairs and into the stands, like it was just normal for a stray dog to be at a soccer game here, crawling underneath the seats and scrounging around for food.

I still can't wait for the World Cup in Brazil, though. Even if it's crappy teams, I'm sure at least the crowd will be good and the atmosphere will be great.

Jumbo - A supermarket in a mall.

I was treated to one of the weirdest experiences here yesterday, when I went shopping at Jumbo with a friend to get some home stuff/imported foods.

Jumbo's in a mall. So when you check out, and you're wanting to go get a remise or cab or whatever, you have to take your shopping cart full of food and parade it through the mall, past the clothing stores and kiosks.

It was really just strange.

A few comments on my Jumbo experience:

It is the worst of Argentina all in one place. The hair, the rudeness, the people with no clue running into you with their shopping cart, overpriced electronics, and it took forever to do anything.

We waited in line after we got all our stuff picked out for FORTY FIVE MINUTES.

All this, while the a**holes in front of us had TWO carts and the miserable-looking wife kept running off and coming back with more sh*t to put in their carts. Diapers, milk, and oh yeah, 18 bottles of 2-liter Cokes, 4 bottles of Fernet, a case of Talca orange soda, about 10 lbs of meat, and random other crap. Did I mention she went back and forth for milk 3 times? No, I didn't. But I just did.

It got so bad, we decided to pick up a storybook and entertain ourselves reading about Blancanieves and the 7 dwarves.
Note the quantity of soda. not pictured: even more soda, diapers, milk, and angry-looking wife

I did manage to score some pretty sweet American foods. Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, broccoli & cheese soup, for example. They also had Pepperidge Farms super chunk cookies, but they weren't scanning correctly, and I was so ready to leave the store I told the checkout girl to ignore them and put them away - I was not about to wait for some lackadaisical manager to mosey over and find a barcode.

Also purchased: flour tortillas (no corn there, grrr), imported Italian pasta, aaand, that's it.  They bother to import ramen noodles, but they can't bring in a thing of jalapeños? Tragic.

You're next, Walmart.