Thursday, April 16, 2009

los andes - edmonton, ab

los andes
3903 99 st

You can't drive very far in or around Millwoods without seeing little mom and pop hole-in-the-wall establishments. I tend to make mental notes of these places, but rarely end up remembering them at the supper decision moment. To help alleviate this I've put together a small list of restaurants I want to try that actually exists outside of my own head. This paper list is ideal, because not only does it help me remember the name but a rough location. Los Andes just happens to be on this list, or I should say was on the list.

I couldn't find much about Los Andes online, besides the Vue article from 2005, and it doesn't look like much has been said since. The restaurant is located in a light industrial area, and sandwiched between an auto body shop and a yoga studio. My experience with Chilean food is pretty limited, so besides being excited to try something new, I had no expectations.

The interior is very basic, and being in a block style industrial building it lacks any distinct features. Walking in with two friends we waited at the door for a few minutes, and after not seeing an employee we decided to seat ourselves. The restaurant has an interesting vibe. There is a mixture of wood (with vinyl cushions) and metal chairs, along with a few mismatched tables. The tables were all topped with condiment containers that have long seen better days and need a good cleaning. Somehow this didn't seem surprising after looking around and seeing dirty dishes waiting to be cleaned up on half of the tables.

A few minutes after sitting down, a gentleman came in and out of the kitchen a few times, but did nothing to acknowledge our presence. Finally, he made another appearance to accept payment for the only other table occupied and brought us menus. You open the menu to see spanish, but flipping the pages over you encounter the english translations. We decided to split a few of the dishes and ended up ordering;

ensalada de maiscos - scallops, shrimps, squids, clams, mussels ($11.50). This was from the appetizer menu and showed up in a pink shell. The pieces were quite small (that shrimp is the size of a dime), the squid was overcooked, there didn't seem to be any scallops and only a few tiny clams. There was imitation crab which wasn't listed, and the broth that everything sat in had good flavor. I wonder if the seafood comes from a package or bottle, as the pieces were so identically small that I can't see someone cutting everything like that.

pescado frito - cod served with salad ($14.75). Basically this was way below average fried fish with a scattering of romaine lettuce. The dish didn't jive with me at all, I found the batter really heavy and extremely greasy and the oil had probably seen better days. Can't say much more about pieces of lettuce; at least they had some crunch.

chacarero - thin sliced and grilled beef and green beans, tomatoes, on homemade bread with french fries ($9.50). I couldn't help but look through to the kitchen from our table so when I saw our waiter/cook touching the beef then licking his finger, rip a piece of the beef from the sandwich then taste a bit and repeat this a few more times until I guess he was happy, I wasn't exactly excited to dig into this dish. With that said, the sandwich was the best of the three. The homemade bread came out toasted while retaining a soft interior. The bun easily made this sandwich, providing an great base to build upon with, unfortunately, average toppings. The slice of beef and tomato were decent, but the green beans were lifeless and it was all brought together with a heavy hand of mayo. The fries were average and generously topped with seasoning salt, much to the glee of one friend.

Our drink orders never did show up and by the time we had sampled a bit of everything, I wasn't concerned. This is one restaurant I won't be visiting any time soon. The service was below average with no real attention paid to us. The three dishes didn't arrive together or within 5 minutes of each other for that matter. The food wasn't anything to write home about and neither was the interior; no effort was made to clean up any dishes during our entire 1 1/2 hour visit. From the looks of the lunch specials on the wall and its location in a light industrial complex, it probably sees a lot more action during the day, but I don't take think it's enough to slide later in the day.


Sarah said...

Ah! I just vomited in my mouth a little after reading that. HE LICKED HIS FINGERS AND TOUCHED YOUR FOOD?!!!!

Chris said...

It was...interesting to say the least.

Sarah said...

I'm pretty sure I would've walked out. You are a brave brave man Falconer.

KimHo said...

Now, that was crappy... Thanks for taking the bullet!

Court said...

Yikes! You are a brave man for this one!

Post a Comment