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Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Nicaragua 6078 (Palermo) - We went to Valparaiso with the expat group BAIN on a Tuesday night for dinner. This is a quaint, pleasant Chilean restaurant with lovely paintings on the walls and a small bar. From my years working in the restaurant business, I know how difficult it is to accommodate large groups for dinner, especially with a small kitchen. So I am understanding of a set menu, longer orders times, longer wait times, etc. This place was borderline ridiculous. We all paid upfront, $80 pesos per person (pretty high for a 3 course meal here), and we had 3 items to choose from for appetizer, entree and dessert. The simple act of paying in advance theoretically should save us at least 20 minutes at the end of the meal. Additionally, the reduced option menu should have also saved us some time during the order or delivery of food - but no.

As our appetizers, I ordered the ceviche mixto and Jon had the calamari. The calamari was fine, but the ceviche was a strange citric pile of unidentified seafood. We each ordered the beef option as our main dish and it was by far the worst cut of meat either of us have had since we moved. It was fatty, tough and tasteless and that combination is difficult to accomplish here in the land of beef. It also took no less than 20 minutes to get all of the food out to the table for each course, half of the time was spent auctioning each item out to find whoever ordered it. This was exceptionally frustrating since we only had 3 items to choose from - I remembered what everyone ordered more than the waiter who wrote it down did. Dessert was a single scoop of ice cream, which was fine, but pretty small. We did have one beverage included in the set price, but we also ordered water which was a steep $9 pesos.

Overall, not worth the price or the wait time for an unorganized and underwhelming meal.

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