Cola de mono might be a typical Christmas drink in Chile but that won’t stop you from finding it in other spots around the city all year long.
One of the well known spots is Ciro’s, which also offers up hearty Chilean dishes and soups in Santiago Centro.
In fact the soups are one of it’s trademarks. Not talking a thin broth but a hearty, stew like soup that can fill up even those with the most labor intensive day jobs. I stopped by but had a hankering for something else, so their pollo al pil pil, a nice boneless chicken breast cooked with tons of garlic, stood out on the menu. It’s rare to see a place in Chile go heavy in the garlic, but they didn’t hold back, roasting it and forming a nice crispy crust on the soft, juicy chicken inside. Goes great with pure picante, mashed potatoes with merken.
The cola de mono, is a must, but I must say flavor wise, it was a bit weak to some of the other preparation I’ve tried. It lacked that bite of cinnamon, tasted more like café con leche with a hefty shot of aguadiente. But it’s cold and at a good price. I didn’t order a second, rather tried this ale, Kuper, a microbrew out of the Santiago neighborhood La Cisterna.
They have other typical Chilean dishes on the menu as well, everthing from a plateada, which is similar to a pot roast, as well dishes using “the rest of the animal” like cow tounge or testicles. If you dare. Sandwiches also seem to be the local favorite also.
It fills up for lunch, even though they don’t have a special promotion. Prices for the plates run between CHP 4,000-7,000, so it’s not ultra cheap either. The decor is simple, basic, feels like it’s from a generation back, but entertaining, with a long bar embeded with bottles that have faded labels. Service is average, which means it’s ok for Chile. But If you’re wandering the center and looking for a bite to eat I think it’s worth a visit.
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