El Palenque in Montevideo… Delicious Vegetarian Parrillada???

27 Aug

I love good food… and I particularly like to eat good food when I am traveling. I love to find out what are the best local places and experience what’s typical and traditional about a specific country’s cuisine and culture. And try everything, within my dietary playing field…

When I traveled for the first time to Uruguay in 2003 for work, we were taken to El Palenque in Montevideo. Located in the historical Mercado del Puerto we were told this was Montevideo’s most loved restaurants by far. It’s a parrillada restaurant and I do not have to tell you what is served traditionally in these parrillada places. But I have always been one to be resourceful when analyzing menus and I ordered the Provençal Mushrooms with French Fries. It was delicious and everyone was gawking at my plate to see what the vegetarian was eating…


I loved it so much indeed… that a few days later I went back to El Palenque by myself, sat at the very typical counter inside the market and ordered the exact same thing again!!! That’s me… that when I find something I love, I go back to the same place and order it over and over and over again.


Flash forward 8 ½ years later… I got the chance again to visit Montevideo, now as a day trip with my mom after a week in Buenos Aires. We took the Buquebus from Puerto Madero to Montevideo which in a few hours takes you across the Río la Plata. I was so excited to show my mom around Montevideo, a place I had very much enjoyed a few years back.


I was not sure of how I would find the city after all these years, but one thing I was sure of… we would have lunch at El Palenque!!! This is what we ordered:

Provençal Mushrooms and French Fries

Lettuce, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad


I felt we could now have a salad because we are now 2 sharing this meal and not just me eating by myself. And check out how the server made the balsamic vinaigrette in front of us… so cool!!!

Dressing our salad…


Cooking our mushrooms… 2012!!!


Here are my cooks in 2003… Doesn’t the guy on the left look like the chef cooking my mushrooms in my last trip??????

The food and the service were as good as I remembered it. Below you’ll find evidence if we enjoyed it or not…  Check out the pics from this trip and my first one… I think I look better now than what I did then, don’t you think???



I tried to locate another restaurant I enjoyed very much during my first trip – ROMA AMOR de Donatella, an Italian restaurant which taught me so much about enjoying delicious and beautiful food. It was sad it was no longer open. I really wanted to show it off to my mom and to you guys too!!!   😦

A tip to you travelers… Montevideo, for some reason, is mostly closed on the weekends. So much of what I enjoyed during my business trip, I was not able to show my mom because the streets were empty the Saturday we visited. So if you plan a trip to Montevideo, please keep that in mind when scheduling.

Do you have a favorite restaurant you love to visit whenever you travel to a specific city??? What is THE MUST thing to order there??? Tell me all about it….


3 Responses to “El Palenque in Montevideo… Delicious Vegetarian Parrillada???”

  1. Pavlov (@Pav1ov) August 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    I’d love all of these dishes…with a small side of flank steak! When do we leave chica?! LOL

  2. Gas Station Gastronomy August 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    I took a vacation from veganism while I was in South America – everything was too good to say no to!

  3. Jehancancook August 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    It all looks so good. I’m not vegetarian but would be quite satisfied with that meal.

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