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El Fogon: Pretty good food in downtown Montevideo
El Fogon is located in the old part of town and I don't mean Ciudad Vieja. I have been to this restaurant twice (last Feb 2010) and has been crowded so they obviously draw a local crowd. The specialties are the typical Uruguayan....parrilla & beef. I had the beef tongue in vinegrette to start which was good. For the main I had a filet mignon which was also good. You have to get there by taxi and do not walk around that area at night. Our cab driver specifically told me don't walk around. When you leave, have the restaurant call a cab. When you leave the restaurant to enter the taxi, you will notice that the waiters will escort you out.
Favorite Dish: So far...Beef tongue in vinegrette. Tongue is tender...most underated part of the cow.
Fogon: It will do in a pinch.
Nice variety and close to the Sheraton. The wine list was commendable. The fried squid was flaccid, I would not order that dish again. The salads were very good. The wine list made us happy. The asparagus was way overcooked. The sausages were great. The service was just OK, it was an extremely busy time. The downstairs was completely full, so we sat upstairs, which is not air conditioned. It was extremely hot (early February). Considering the fabulous food we had at other restaurants in Buenos Aires and Montevideo it is hard to give this one a high rating. Unfortunately, there are few places to eat near the Sheraton and public safety is a huge concern, especially at night. So, if it is the only place open I would not hesitate to eat there. But, I would be careful about what I ordered and try for a less busy time. As an alternative, I recommend the place across the street and about a block closer to the Sheraton. Look for the parilla in the window. There they also have great sushi, of all things.
Favorite Dish: "Baby Beef" was the best of what we ordered. I believe it is the same as a rib-eye cut. Most of the beef in Uruguay and Argentina is grass fed (our preference), which makes it very tasty but a bit tougher and leaner than what would normally be expected in the U.S..
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El Fogon: Local Favourite
Located downtown, El Fogón is a favourite with both the lunch and late night crowds. The generous menu includes fresh seafood and hearty steaks as well as pasta and chicken options. Reasonable prices and swift service keep diners returning time and again. A nice wine list provides a number of options to accompany the various flavors on the menu. Open for lunch and dinner.
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El Fogon: Typical Parrillada
This place was recommended by our hotel. The interior was very nice. It was doing a good business and it had an extensive menu. Our waiter was a bit abrupt and not very friendly. He acted like he was in a hurry, which he was not. I expect better in an Argentinian or Uruguayan restaurant.
My wife's chicken was good and cost $5. My steak was flavorful but a bit tough (sorry to all you guys who think their beef is "great" - - it can be but not always) and cost over $7. They charged a 'cubierto' (a charge to sit at a table and use their fork!) of 34P/$1.35. A beer (620 ml) was $2.25. A bottle of water was over a dollar. A coke was $1.35. The entire bill less the tip was 518P/$21.72USD.
This place was good but not great by any means. Had the waiter been more professional (I really appreciate a nice friendly waiter!), I'm sure my opinion of the El Fogon would have been more positive.
Favorite Dish: It was all good, but nothing to write home about.
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