Famous for his bloopers and possibly haunted by the outbursts of another Latinamerican leader, President George Bush was up to his best while in Uruguay when he praised the excellent Venezuelan beef, sorry I mean Uruguayan beef.
In an interview with the Fox channel in Montevideo, the US president only had praise for the host country Uruguay which he described as "a fantastic country, strategically located and a good friend of United States". Bush arrived in Uruguay late Friday evening and left for Colombia early Sunday morning. He spent most of Saturday in the Anchorena Park, Uruguayan presidents' camp residence. "I've just finished a fantastic visit with President Tabare Vazquez in what he calls an "estancia" something similar to a Texas ranch", added Bush. "We really had a very good time in the ranch". In the interview Bush describes the Anchorena Park where Vazquez hosted him, 200 kilometers from Montevideo, as "his Camp David (the resting residence for US presidents) and he loves it there; he was most courteous in receiving us in the estancia". Nevertheless the president had a slip of the tongue when the insisted: "Venezuela has fantastic beef. I mean Uruguay has fantastic beef. And we really enjoyed having (barbecued) beef". That same evening and out of protocol the US president walked to a local restaurant in the Old City of Montevideo for a meal where he enjoyed Caprese ravioli and discovered a typical dish from the River Plate, milanesas or breadcrumb marinated beef. The president, Mrs. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US Ambassador in Uruguay Frank Baxter and Mrs Baxter and another two people from the delegation made up the small party that enjoyed dinner half an hour before the restaurant opened for business at eight o'clock. "Since you enjoyed beef at lunch in Anchorena I imagine you could try some pasta" suggested Tomas the maitre and so it was ravioli for the whole group except the translator who requested a "milanesa". "What's that", asked President Bush. "Beef marinated with breadcrumb, I'll bring you one and you can taste it", said Tomas. And milanesa was a great success with the ravioli and Uruguayan red and white wines. The party spent an hour and a half and by the time they were leaving regular clients begun arriving that politely greeted the US president and Mrs Bush. "Leave them a very good tip. They really deserve it", ordered the president and the customary 10% turned into 25%. When they walked out to the Montevideo fortress oldest plaza, seat of the colonial Spanish government two centuries ago, it was back to business: flashes, television cameras and secret service personnel protecting the most powerful man on earth. And how do you make milanesas? Sorry, with Uruguayan beef!!!