At The Embassy Row Hotel on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C., naturally we want to embrace the culture of all countries and learn more about their traditions. One-by-one, we're calling each country's embassy in Washington, DC (all 100+ of them) and discovering the most fascinating facts about their country.
The Flavor of Uruguay
Less than a 15 minute walk from The Embassy Row Hotel, the Embassy of Uruguay sits on I Street next to several Asian restaurants. When it comes to finding Uruguayan meals in Washington, D.C., the country's diplomats have no problem finding Uruguayan food.
'Uruguayan meals consist of beef, every single day, for most meals,' explains a diplomat for the Embassy of Uruguay. He adds, 'some of the best meats in the world.'
However, breakfast is the exception for meat. A typical breakfast in Uruguay is light fare. A typical Uruguayan enjoys fruit, coffee, toast, croissants, juice, but they don't eat eggs or bacon.
The diplomat explains that there's a long history of immigration from Italy and Spain into Uruguay, so there's a strong influence of European meals, including pasta of every kind and pizza.
The diplomat explains that lunch usually consists of a nice size steak or different cuts of beef, with a sides of mashed potatoes, fries and salad. Another popular dish of Uruguay is Milanese which is thin slices of veal, chicken, or beef, dipped in eggs and breadcrumbs; it's comparable to veal parmesan. In their country, lunch is usually around 1:00 PM. On the weekend, the people of Uruguay enjoy lunch later such as 2:00 or 3:00 PM.
Anywhere you go in Uruguay, you'll find a lot of salads, including the Russian salad, comprised of potato, eggs, peas, carrots, mayonnaise, and a few drops of lemon.
For dinner in Uruguay, there are a lot of barbeques, which consists of different cuts of meat, chicken, and pork chops. On Friday and Saturday, the diplomat describes as real BBQ, no hot dogs and hamburgers. Instead, they eat simple skewered rounds of Spanish chorizo.
If you're looking for your own slice of Uruguay in Washington, D.C., the diplomat at the Embassy of Uruguay recommends the following restaurants:
Chimichurri is a special green sauce for grilled meat. It's typical to have a chorizo sandwich with the sauce. Chimichurri in Rockville, Maryland is a metro ride and a cab ride from The Embassy Row Hotel. The restaurant and bakery is a combination of Uruguayan and Argentinian food.
El Patio Restaurant is also located in Rockville. The diplomat recommends all of the dishes. Although it's an Argentinian restaurant, he says, Their BBQ is the way we do it [in Uruguay]. They also serve really good pasta.
Fogo De Chao is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse located near The White House and Federal Triangle Metro stop. The restaurant offers 16 cuts of meat with continuous tableside service, and the most satisfying salad bar. However, the Uruguayan diplomat says it's customary in their country to eat 1-3 meat dishes only, not all 16. Their green light, red light system allows you to determine how much meat you want.
Share your favorites! Where is your favorite Uruguayan food in Washington, D.C.? Tell us in the comments section below.