A journey from a love affair with processed foods to a love affair with cheese.
A few weeks ago AB and I celebrated two years of marriage, our apartment anniversary if you will. (We just acquired our new apartment, so if year 1 is the paper anniversary, year 2 is the apartment anniversary). As such, we didn’t want to spend a ton celebrating, but we also didn’t want to spend our anniversary cooking or eating pizza. So we looked over our running list of new (to us) restaurants and old favorites we want to revisit and settled on Azza 40, a mid-range, newish place located at 40 Azza Street.
Azza 40 occupies what for years was a Coffeeshop (and before that it was a bar called Filter that I spent a not-insignificant amount of time in back in 2004-05, and after that it was a cafe called Moise that I never went to). Azza 40, which in some places is billed as a tapas restaurant (another new trend that’s suddenly popping up all over, similar to the recent omnipresence of sliders and fish and chips), is a restaurant by day/evening and a bar by evening/night. They offer happy hour specials, a “late nite” menu, and stay open till 2 am. In short, this is exactly the kind of place I would have spent countless nights in back in the years when I socialized outside the home on weeknights. (Sometimes I really miss those days, you know?)
So, how was it for an old married couple with a cold eating at 7 pm?
As long-time readers know, I always first judge a restaurant by its ambiance. The atmosphere was cute, nothing fancy or too distinctive, but definitely had a nice vibe with a nice bar seating area. (We sat at a table).
The menu was divided into “pita” (slightly gourmet takes on street food), sandwich (entrecote, roast beef, and chicken breast), bruscetta (tomato, ceviche), meat, salads, fish, stir fry, pasta, and “bucket” (fish and chips, chips), and burgers. Pretty comprehensive and relatively interesting. The way the meat section works is that there are six kinds of meat to choose from by the 100 gram – sinta, entrecote, lamb assado, lamb kebab, beef filet, and skewers. You can order any combination of meat and amount.
We decided to keep it carnivorous and ordered 100 grams each of assado, kebab, and entrecote. We also ordered a spicy tomato bruschetta and vegetable tempura. And a glass each of Chilean wine. The non-meat foods came quickly. Both the bruschetta and the tempura were delicious. The bruschetta was noteworthy mainly for the kick it gave. The tempura was interesting because in addition to beet, zucchini, and eggplant, the dish included lemon. I was skeptical, but it was so good and not too tart.
When we finished all of the that, our meat platter arrived. In addition to the meat, the platter included roasted veggies (we had a choice of veggies, salad, rice, or fries). The kebab we identified easily; between the other two we weren’t sure which was the assado and which the entrecote – neither looked particularly assodo-like. When we asked the waitress to clarify, she realized the kitchen had made a mistake and sent us sinta instead of assado. So a few minutes later we received a plate of assado too, on the house of course. The entrecote and the sinta were both very good – not too cooked, not too fatty, succulent. The assado was a bit too fatty and bone-clinging for me but AB devoured it happily. The kebab, I’m sad to say, were not the best.
For dessert we ordered a slice of banana nut pie. It was pretty plain but the (fake) whipped cream helped.
Overall, a good night out, not cheap but not too pricy, and pretty good food. Once we make it through the rest of our list, we’ll be back.