If you're looking for a bargain, Pomaire should be your destination. This shop is a good example of what you see here, featuring local handcrafts and souvenirs. It was amusing visiting the shops to see all they offered. Some shops specialized in a few items, others carried a variety of products.
Narrow sidewalks snaked past the shops, cars creeped slowly by sending dust plumes into the air, enticing smells wafted through the windows of the restaurants and friendly shopkeepers greeted you upon entering their store. It was a pleasant stop!
In the Chilean village of Pomaire, almost everyone makes or sells traditional ceramics. This distinct earthenware is made of clay dug from amountainside about 40 Km from town.
Each piece they create is sun dried, then smoothed and burnished with an agate stone before being fired. No glaze or varnish is used.
Ovens work around the clock, packed full with clay plates and bowls. It takes about five hours of slowly feeding firewood into the botton to get the oven hot enough to cure a few dozen dinner plates. Then it takes seven more hours of red-hot heat to dry the clay into an iron-hard finish.
It´s hard to sit down to a meal anywhere in Chile without being served something in a Pomaire pot. They´re tough as nails, distribute heat wonderfully and clean up more easily than glass.
When we were looking for a place to have lunch, we passed this restaurant and almost went inside. However, the free pisco's El Parron were giving away swayed us in that direction. San Francisco looked like a great place to dine, though. If I return to Pomaire, I would consider eating here! See my second photo for a sample of the prices...
El Parron is a quaint local restaurant with lots of personality! The menu offers many different dishes, but we zeroed in on an oversize empanada about 12 inches long. We also received free pisco sours--a typical Chilean beverage for adults. The children were given a drink described as tutti fruti--a generic term for a mixture of fruit juices.
Our meal began with mini empanadas served hot and crispy. As we waited for our entree, a guitarist strolled through the restaurant singing traditional Chilean folksongs while we sat at our table beneath a vine covered ceiling--what atmosphere! A small dog watching over the restaurant added a little local color, too.
The giant empanada was as big as advertised...I could only eat half of it. If you come to Pomaire with a large appetite, stop here for your meal. It was delicious but way too large a helping for me. The dining room was crowded with tourists by the time we finished our meal, attesting to its popularity.
Favorite Dish: Empanadas--the giant empanada was only $2.500 pesos--about $5 U.S.
I can't remember the name of this restauant but from the picture I posted I am sure it will be easily recogniazable. This restauant serves typical chilean cuisine from the region including this Pastille de Chocolo. I would consider it the Chilean equivalent of a Chicken Pot Pie. The top is encrusted with a sweet corn mixture and the bottom consists of a meat, onion and olive mixture. It was quite delicious. This restaurant also serves some great homemade french fries. Real potatoes, freshly cut and fried. Mmmmm.
The shops at Pomaire carried many different products made from clay. This small painted dish was 500 pesos and measures about 3" x 3" and is about an inch deep. I think it would be ideal to use for rings. Some of the clay pieces were left in their natural state and others were brightly painted.
**l.250 pesos are the equiv. of about $2.50 US
What to buy: Clay products
What to pay: A few cents to a few dollars
The shops at Pomaire carried several items made of straw. This small jewelry box caught my eye at Nativa. I thought it was perfect for holding earrings or other items and would make a great gift for someone back home.
The small straw containers are brightly detailed and a good example of the local crafts made in this area. It measures 3 l/2 inches wide and 2 inches tall and cost less than $5.00 US.
What to buy: Straw products
My son and granddaughter are tolerating my request for a picture, but my grandson looks like he zoned out a while back!! That's what shopping does to our guys!
Here is another picture showing the type of merchandise that was available for sale, such as leather trimmed bottles, carved wood products and ceramics. I think just about anything you would want could be found in these little shops. You can use a credit or debit card for your purchase at this particular store.
What to pay: Reasonably priced