Day 35, 04FEB2017
As part of the Trout and Wine tour, Josh and I were presented with a free Mendoza City Bus tour. This bright pink double decker bus takes visitors across the urban Mendoza expanse, stopping at key tourist spots and along the way provides an audio guide with significant information.
While the idea sounds great on paper, in reality, it fell short. Even though it was prime tourist season, being summer break and all, the bus tour cut quite a few stops out of its circumnavigation. Furthermore, although the tour alleged the audio guide would tell you about the history of the city and the various stop off points, in truth we listened to an entire Aerosmith album and a few Spanish songs during the two and a half hour ride. There were a few injections of English, however when the audio guide spoke to us over the headphones in English, the Spanish guide broadcasted over the loud speaker for the majority of the bus riders completely drowned out what we could have heard.
It is in moments like these that I wish I spoke Spanish. I’m sure there was a great deal of information provided to the Spanish speakers – for instance whenever we did stop at a spot with a museum, zoo, or the aquarium, the onboard guide actually listed out the admission price and hours of operation – but only in Spanish. Thus I sat there with a blank stare on my face looking at Josh knowing I’d heard numbers, but not quite sure what sense they made.
Nevertheless, the tour did include a drive out and back to Cerra de la Gloria, a hill on the western portion of the city that afforded excellent views of the entire city and surrounding valley. Although the tour bus operated on an hourly rate and you could theoretically hop on and hop off at any of the spots, Josh and I opted to stay on the bus the entire time and then wander afterwards to find lunch.
We were very lucky to happen upon a deli that tripled as a wine shop and a restaurant. They had a fabulous $140 peso lunch deal today with Chardonnay chicken, dessert, bread service, and a glass of Chardonnay.
After lunch a storm rolled into the city and Josh and I thankfully made it back to our AirBnB just in time to avoid being soaked. We wasted the afternoon away with the windows wide open, Netflix streaming, and thunder in the back ground.
For dinner, Josh found the number one steak place (parilla) in Mendoza. He asked me out on a date night and of course I said yes!
We wandered the rain-wet streets for about thirty minutes before we found Cordillera. For being the number one steak house in a country brutally fond of its steak, this restaurant was downright homey and far from pretentious.
We started off with proveleta of course, the melty, oozey, stringy cheese our newfound favorite appetizer. The restaurant maintains an extensive collection of local vineyard wines locked away in two separate chambers: one for red and one for white. As part of the experience, diners are invited if they inquire about wine to pair with their dinner, to follow the waiter to one of these chambers and select a wine.
I selected a Cabernet-Sauvignon and Malbec 50-50 blend, called “Green Moustache” and Josh was hooked! He now really does enjoy red wine!
After our appetizer we were presented with our favorite steaks from their entire trip! Yes! It is true. Its hard to rank order these steaks, because we’ve had a handful of them now and the one on our Trout and Wine tour truly was next level exceptional. However, at Cordillera Josh and I were on a personal date, and while sharing wine and food with groups of friends is fantastic, sharing an experience with the one you love wins.
I ordered the ribeye with salad, while Josh ordered the filet mignon with potatoes. Each bite was better than the one before, and we both agreed paired with the wine and the cool atmosphere, plus the story wherein we got lost finding the place to begin with, this experience was perfection.
To conclude our date night we opted for the helados gustacion, four housemade ice creams. All of them were so delicious we couldn’t decide on which was best! Green apple, mango, dark chocolate and dulce de leche, all of them were delicious!
After dinner Josh and I wandered back through the light misting rain to our home for the final night in Mendoza.