Chilean Lunch: Chorrillana, Completos, Empanadas, & Seafood From My Vacation Last Week

After 10 days of eating my way across Chile, I can’t say I was too excited for lunch yesterday.  A week and half of amazing Chilean food is not easy to replace with a boring $9 sandwich.  The only Chilean restaurant I know in the area is Pomaire on 46th btw. 8+9th, but that is way out of the Midtown Lunch price range.  Hopefully some cheaper options exist (or will pop up in the future).

Here are some of the lunch’ing highlights from my trip, that I am hoping are available somewhere in Midtown:

“Un Completo”, aka a Chilean “Hot Dog with the works”- only instead of sauerkraut and relish, it’s topped with salsa, tomatoes, guacamole and mayo.  This one was enjoyed New Year’s Eve in Valparaiso. ($1)

Empanada de Pino –  Baked pastry filled with meat, egg and olives.  Delicious.  This one (the first of many on the trip) was enjoyed just outside the Mercado Central in Santiago.  They also make cheese and seafood version (plus fried versions), but this one is the most common. ($1)

Raw seafood, the national drink of Chile (and it’s not a Pisco Sour), plus the artery clogging mountain of meat and french fry wonderment that is Chorrillana, after the jump…

Mote con Huesillos – The national drink of Chile, it’s thick fruit juice (normally peach, but we also saw it with pineapple), a whole re-hydrated peach and barley (which requires a spoon).  Food and drink all in one.  What more could you want?  Refreshing, delicious, and I was addicted halfway through my first one, enjoyed here- just outside of the Mercado Central in Santiago.  I’m guessing this will be the hardest thing to find in NYC, so if anyone knows where I can get this, please let me know! ($1)

A raw clam, sea urchin (and lord knows what else) ceviche, bought for $2 near the water in Castro on the island of Chiloe.  Definitely my “Andrew Zimmern” moment of the vacation…

Machas (Chilean Razor Clams) in Salsa Verde.  A steal at $8, this was probably my favorite lunch of the trip.  From one of the little booths inside the Mercado Central in Santiago.  I will dream of this plate of clams for the rest of my life…

Chorrillana (Sauteed Steak, French Fries, Onions & Egg) from Casino Social J Cruz in Valparaiso.  While my head will dream of seafood, my heart (and arteries) will always remember the Chorrillana.  $6 per portion, the mountain you see was for two ($12).  Somebody needs to start serving this out of a cart in Midtown.

Finally, there was my amazing Churrasco Completo out of a converted bus, eaten on the side of the Carretera Austral in the middle of Nowheresville Northern Patagonia.  But for that, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow, and read about it on the Serious Eats column, Serious Sandwiches You can read about that sandwich on Serious Eats.

Know where I can get any of this stuff in Midtown (or anywhere else in NYC for that matter)?  Email me at or post it as a comment below.


  • Zach! I just went to Chile in November! I have friends in Valpo! They own a cafe! If only I had known! This is the reason I’m always yelling on here about chacarerros (plus that awesome place in downtown crossing in Boston.) Anyway the only place I know in NYC to get completas and chacarreros is San Antonia Bakery in Astoria.

  • Zach, a Google search for Chilean food in New York yielded Pomaire Restaurant at 371 West 46th Street in MIDTOWN.


  • Harvey – I mentioned Pomaire in my opening paragraph. :-) (it’s a little too pricey for Midtown Lunch’ing purposes)

    Sarah – I know that place in Downtown crossing you’re talking about! My wife used to eat there all the time, but we were under the impression that it was gone. Is it still there? Also, what was the name of your friend’s cafe in Valpo?

  • I emailed you back this already but in case anyone is looking for a great place to eat in Valparaiso Chile, they should go to Epif on Paseo Dimalow in Cerro Alegre for excellent (and vegetarian) food and also great strong drinks. And some of the best people on the planet. Plug plug plug.

  • Dude, this isn’t Facebook or MySpace. Stick to the purpose of the website. We don’t really care about your vacation photos.

  • Dude. Chillax. *Some* people were more than happy to see Zach’s photos of exotic hot dogs. And *that’s* calling *you* out! Dadadun dada dun! Dun!

  • Calling You Out,
    You are a such a douche. Last time I checked this was HIS site. So he can do whatever he pleases. Plus, I was really happy to see food from another country. Especially, since I have a few friends from Chile in NYC and I always here about this amazing food but never have an image to put to it. So go call someone else out.

  • looooooved the chilean delicacies images, zach… shame on you, *calling you out.* a real foodie never scoffs at food porn.

  • Oh, the raw seafood orgy!

    Looks so delicious. Oh yeah, uni, touch that clam. You bad thing.

  • But is Zach being payed in Chilean Peso’s or US $ for this??????????

    lol sry.

  • Rudy you owe us all Shake Shack!

  • Loved the food pics.

  • The fries in the Chorrillana look terrible.

  • They do look somewhat insipid don’t they?

    The garlic will offset the grease tho. Yes it does.When you’re over 30 it’s what one tells oneself.

  • The clams look outragously good….hard to pass up a nice clam.

  • weon! felicitaciones! este si que es un SUPER BLOG!!!!!!!

  • If you have a craving for those chilean hot dogs, and don’t mind the subway (maybe not for a midtown lunch), you can get them at San Antonio Bakery #2 (yes that’s the place’s name) in Astoria.

  • a month late but…did you miss out on pastel de choclo and cazuela? those are the two best chilean dishes in the beautiful yet underseasoned country.

  • Valparaiso restaurant: 201 34th st. Union City
    Los Andes Bakery : 7714 Bergenline Ave. North Bergen

  • awsome food pics! i miss those so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dude you right u need some pics of cazuela de poyo y pastel de papa. unos antucuchos no estarian mal. y un buen churrasco tampoco deveria faltar! thanks!

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.