Cash on the hip, I head for dinner at Fey Fey. It is an unprepossessing little place, a couple of patio chairs outside and a tatty door that looks painted shut. There are plenty of locals inside watching either of the two TVs. The tablecloths look like they were cut from the curtains in your great-grandmother’s spare room. The old ones - before she took them down and replaced them with something a little more ‘modern’.
Fey Fey. Looks a lot more orange in daylight
The menu doesn’t exactly set my heart racing either. The Lonely Planet says the Pescado Milanesa is good, but I didn’t come all this way to check out Uruguay’s answer to Captain Birdseye. I’m having the chivito al pan - that’s goat sandwich to you and me.
And a pretty big goat sandwich it is too. A thick roll with everything they could fit in. There’s smoked pancetta, ham, cheese, lettuce and tomato (I asked for it sin huevo). And nestling in amongst it is something I really wasn’t expecting at all. It’s the goat. After a couple of mouthfuls, I call the waitress over. In my fragmented Spanish, I ask her for another goat, but on its own this time. Against all probabilities it is very, very special indeed.
It’s the fillet, which helps. It is sliced thinly, then tenderised until it is barely a quarter of an inch thick. Then it is sprinkled liberally with salt, and flashed on the parrilla. It is soft, tender and succulent. Seared on the outside and still a little pink in the middle, it tastes remarkably similar to beef, but with a slight gaminess to it.
I’m halfway through my second helping when I have a bit of a moment. It occurs to me that I am sat in a very small restaurant, in a very small town, in a very small country, all by myself, a long, long way from home, eating a piece of goat meat that is so delicious a tear is almost running down my cheek. This is exactly why I am here.
Back in my ‘hotel’ I feel compelled to commit this experience to words immediately. However, my gentle tapping of the keys is apparently transmitting on some obscure entomological frequency, and before I know it I’m joined on the bed by a lone cockroach. At least I hope it’s a lone cockroach. If the others come looking for him, it’s going to be an interesting night.