I want to find the best chorrillanas in Santiago. Yes, I know. This quest may be overambitious, impossible, and very unhealthy. But during our trip to Pichilemu for New Year’s, I mentioned to two of my friends (who are from Santiago) about how chorrillana is my favorite Chilean dish. We got to talking and the idea of a “chorrillana tour” of Santiago got started. Now, you may ask yourself: what exactly is a chorrillana? It is essentially a plate of french fries piled high with slices of beef, fried eggs, and fried onions. So bad for you, but so, so good.
I thought it would be fun to pretend to be a restaurant critic and rate certain elements of the restaurant and the chorillana itself. What is the ambience of the restaurant? Are the fries too soggy? Does my body hate itself after consuming this meal? And so on. My friend Enzo, my roommate Katie, and I came up with the following rubric, with scores from 1 to 7 (7 being the best, according to the Chilean grading scale):
– Ambiente/Environment: Is the place empty? Does it seem fun? Would I go back?
– Servicio/Service: Are the servers friendly? Do we have to wait a long time?
– Precio/Price: Is it overpriced? Or is the price good considering the amount of food?
– Carne/Meat: Is the meat a good quality? Or is it just hot dog? Note: I HATE hot dog meat on chorrillana.
– Papas fritas/french fries: Too soggy or cold? Or are they crunchy and soft and perfect?
– Huevo/Eggs: I prefer fried eggs, but it is a personal preference.
– Proporción de agregados y papas/Ratio of toppings to fries: Not enough? Just right?
– Creatividad/Creativity: I consider this more of an ‘extra points’ category, but I feel like a unique spin on chorrillana deserves recognition.
The first restaurant that we decided to check out on a Friday in January was “St. Patrick’s Day Restobar,” a pub in Barrio Brasil that is known for its creative chorrillana selection.
It was packed when we arrived, and it was difficult to find a table. We thought we had it made when we found a table upstairs, but we found we could only order a certain beer because we were sitting under a tent sponsored by another brand of beer…cool. We ended up finding a table inside, ordered some beers (we had to order another one since they were out of Kross) , and a plate of their classic chorrillana.
Our scores are below.
– Ambiente: We all gave the place a 6. It seemed like a fun place to come after work or class for meet up with your friends, but it was a little annoying about having to move around so much.
– Servicio: We all gave the service a 5. The waitress was friendly, but was also like a mystical unicorn whom we saw maybe two times. The food also took a while to arrive, but it was also a very busy afternoon.
– Precio: Three 7’s. The plate was $7400 CLP (about $12 USD), but it was plenty to split with three people.
– Carne: Enzo gave it a 6, while Katie and I both gave 5’s. I thought the meat was a bit chewy, but flavorful.
– Papas fritas: Three 7’s with exclamation marks! They were perfect.
– Huevo: Enzo and I gave the egg a 4, while Katie gave a 6. I didn’t like that the eggs weren’t fried and that there wasn’t very much of them.
– Proporción de agregados y papas: Three 6’s.
– Creatividad: Three 7’s. While the classic chorrillana that we ordered was fairly typical, I was impressed by the other options they had available (ex. one with seafood, one with chili, etc.).
Since it’s a very popular restaurant, Enzo advised that for those who want to check out this place in the future, you need to either get there early or reserve in advance. He also commented that this place “es el mejor lugar que tiene relación precio-calidad y variedad,” which essentially means that it is the best place for an interesting, quality meal at a great price.