Thursday, June 19, 2008

Random thing I love about Santiago: my neighborhood butcher's shop

As you already know, I haven't been updating this blog nearly as much as I should/want to. That kind of defeats the purpose of using it as a way to keep everyone updated on my life here in the southern reaches in the world.

I think one of the reasons for the long lapses between entries is the fact that blogging sometimes just takes me so damn long. I love writing, but I'm not fast at it. This becomes problematic when I sit down to blog about issues or experiences that I feel require a good deal of elaboration. The result: I don't write anything.

It occurred to me that one solution could be to occasionally write short entries about specific aspects of my life in this city. If you're sick of reading epic entries in small type, this will make your life easier, too!

So, without further ado, I hereby inaugurate a new feature of my blog: Random Things I Love About Santiago (or Random Things that Irk Me About Santiago, depending on my mood).

My first topic: my neighborhood butcher's shop.

Every so often, the idea of becoming a vegetarian crosses my mind. Recently, one of the factors that's deterred me from taking the leap--aside from the fact that I like meat and behave like a five-year-old when it comes to eating certain vegetables (squash, anyone?)--is the fact that were I to opt for the herbivorous life, I wouldn't be able to go to my neighborhood butcher's shop anymore.

Located just a few blocks from my apartment, the shop is a bastion of neighborhood micro-commerce in an increasingly supermarket-dominated business. My mom has told me stories about when she and her siblings used to run errands to the local butcher's in Minneapolis, and it strikes me that this may have been what it was like.

Not only is the meat cheaper than that sold at the nearby supermarket, but the guys behind the counter serve up hefty portions of old-school personalized service. They call their regular customers "vecino/a" ("neighbor"). They call me "mi amor" ("my love"), but not in a sleazy way. They recommend the best cuts for what you tell them you're making and try to help you keep costs down.

In other words, it's enough to keep me carnivorous for a while yet.


noel said...

But do they draw marker mustaches on little kids??

leigh said...

Hm, that I don't know. I'll have to find a little kid to bring in with me next time.

Maeskizzle said...

Yeah, I agree, butcher shops are much better for purchasing beef than the supermarkets. You get better quality and better service. I remember when I lived in Valpo, my neighborhood butcher would even chop the meat up in little pieces if I told him I was going to make a stir fry.

Next time I go to my butcher shop in Stgo, I'm going to ask them to cut asiento bien blando en churrasco slices. I've been buying the frozen jumbo churrasco slices lately. They are like 5.500 pesos for less than a kilo of meat. So I'm hoping these will be cheaper and tastier.