Day 365: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Dining at Tierra Atacama is a full-on experience of both modern and traditional Chilean food. While breakfast is a buffet to swoon over with more options than a lumberjack could tackle I found myself eating light so that I’d have room for lunch and dinner.
And while eating alone can be an erormous hurdle for some, I’ve eaten alone so many times this year that I don’t think twice about it.
The wait and bar staff are so friendly, after one day they remembered what wine I liked and would ask about my day. Other guests would wonder why the crazy girl takes photos of all her food and lean in to start a conversation.
Eating was always a highlight of the day.
And while I didn’t love everything, it was because some of the dishes were so ravishing, it made others look like Plain Janes – sorry curried fish you were just good and that doesn’t cut it here.
It was hard to choose, but I wanted to share with you my favourite meals from the nearly 20 dishes I devoured.
Chile doesn’t seem to have much of a food culture and Chileans have a difficult time suggesting typical food to try but pastel de jaiba or crab pie is one of the few Chilean traditional dishes that people recommend and it was delicious.
I’m really fussy about calamari and hesitated to order it. Most people don’t know this but calamari is only rubbery because the kitchen did not cook it at high enough heat.
Here the grilled calamari salad with yogurt and dill was really tender and delicious.
The chefs here really know how to cook meat and every time it was delicious. My first experience was beef on a bed of pesto mashed potatoes and it was so tender.
I had filet of ostrich another night and it was incredible.
Broiled swordfish with wild rice and seafood was so light and perfect for a lunch in the hot desert weather.
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I was always unsure what to order for dessert but I loved how the waiters were quick to suggest their favourite.
I hate it when waiters say well it depends on what you like – just tell me what YOU like. They never led me astray, especially with this berry almond pie with homemade ice cream.
The chocolate mouse was so amazing I turned to the table beside me, still on their entrees, to insist they order it.
I’m a huge fan of regular pisco sour and maracuya pisco sour. Suggested by my tour guide Cristobal and explained by my waiter Victor, rica is a local herb native to the area that soothes stomach ailments, it’s also infused into pisco and used as a unique cocktail.
I never eat three courses for lunch and dinner but the food is too delicious to turn down. And while I can feel my waistline expanding and my face rounding, it’s in a delightful way that I will cherish, especially next week when I’m back to reality.
Full disclosure: Tierra Atacama hosted me at their resort for 4 days but did not ask me to write about my gluttonous stay or to eat dessert at every meal.