How to Overspend Your Day's Budget in One Meal

Why the fuck does a hamburger at Fuddruckers cost $21 USD in Santiago?! I have seriously never felt so violated in my entire privileged-white-male life. And I know what you’re thinking: “Why the fuck did you even buy it, you [sexy] moron?!” but it was for a good cause. It was my CouchSurfing host’s birthday dinner.*

fuddruckers-buttfuckers

But the primary question still remains. How in Hanuman’s name can Buttfuckers justify charging $21 USD (with tip) for a burger? For comparison, the same burger in the U.S. will run you $6.95 + tax & tip.

Now, to be fair or whatever, the burger comes with fries, which is pretty nice of them to include. They don’t have to do that. And agua de la llave (tap water) was FREE! Perhaps I am being too harsh on them...

The thing is, not all food is that expensive in Santiago. Today, I stopped by a quaint little joint called El Ají Picante, which surprisingly translates to “Fuddruckers is The Devil.” I bought a ¼ lbs. roasted chicken that came with fries, two sauces, and a salad for $4.75 USD after tip.

el-ají-picante-santiago-food

My ability to describe food is 404, so all I will say is:

  1. The chicken’s my new bae (Overstatement? Let me know in the comments). It had… complex flavors.
  2. The french fry sauces were nummy. They, too, had, like, super complex flaves. The red one had a lil Jappy taste to it.
  3. The salad was dope.

And yes, you guessed it: I totally forgot to ask what the sauces were! I’m useless. But cute. (✿◠‿◠)

MY POINT IS...

There should not be such a large price discrepancy between the most mediocre burger chain on the planet and a wonderful little restaurant with far superior food. I understand that some of what you pay for is atmosphere, but let’s be real: Unless you really get off on a sterile air-conditioned atmosphere with a couple TVs, there’s no justification for Santiago Fuddruckers to charge so much, especially twice as much as their American joints.

MY 2nd POINT IS...

I finally found inexpensive food in Santiago! Until now, all of the restaurants that I came across were at least $11—generally much more. And I didn’t even feel like I was about to get stabbed to find it, although there were some spooky buildings around there. Buildings spanning an entire block boarded up with brittle wood. Colorless balconies of muted apartments above street level holding forgotten artifacts. Holes in the wall just large enough to inspire curiosity but not reveal any secrets. Ya know, like, stuff that makes you think like super deep about things and stuff. I have a headache.

The surreal moment came as I approached two stray dogs (a common occurrence) waiting on a gaunt, hunched homeless man standing in the only open doorway to one of these buildings that I saw. Through the entrance, he spoke to an elderly homeless woman, behind whom there was a careless pile of boxes & wood surrounding a path, which clearly led deeper inside. I wanted badly to ask to explore the interior, but the amount of stupidity and/or bravery that requires is far beyond me. There’s just something about decay that resonates deeply within me.

… And no, the stupid Dingle didn’t even get any pictures of the exteriors of any such buildings.

Ƒ ư ɕ ƙ (╬゚◥益◤゚) ╬゚

Anywho.

THE FINAL POINT IS...

Don’t come to Santiago expecting everything to be dirt cheap. It’s quite the opposite. The majority of the restaurants here will bleed you to death. Buy food from the markets & street vendors and/or restaurants towards the sketchy outskirts of the city if you're keeping a tight budget.

Have you had similar observations elsewhere? What do you think was inside the ruined building? Should I go inside? Let me know in the comments below!

* The Asterisk
Make no mistake, spending time with my CouchSurfing host & her friends on her birthday was a special treat, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was an amazing opportunity to get to know locals in a comfortable atmosphere, and I appreciate the opportunity to be part of someone’s special day. I wrote this to crudely discuss the restaurants and Santiago’s food prices.