Aito sandwich, Rapa Nui Chile

In International Sandwiches

The capital town of Hanga Roa boasts many restaurants, it’s the only place on the island where you can really do or get anything on island. That being said, it gets hard to find places in the town that serve different styles of food.IMG_4316 This restaurant actually shared a deck with 2 other restaurants with 1 front entrance, I didn’t know that when I walked in until I had 3 different servers approach me. Now here is where I am a bad Sandwich Enthusiast, because I wasn’t sure what restaurant I was in, there was no sign that I could find, so I just sat on the part of the deck closest to the ocean. It’s a pretty damn good view for a quick lunch. I kept thinking for the duration of the trip that the restaurant was called Oheho, but now I’m having my doubts. Of course it never occurred to me to go back and find out the name, that would make too much sense. I ordered a sandwich called Aito, which was described as such:

Pescada, mantequilla de mani, pepinillo, tomate asado, palta, lechuga y mayonesa oheho

Now I know what most of it is and I feel a bit foolish because I obviously got Oheho from the mayonesa oheho (i looked it up and I can’t find a meaning) but I was a bit confused by mantequilla de mani, because I didn’t know what  mani meant.IMG_4322 Turns out it’s peanut butter, which was a very interesting ingredient for a fish sandwich. At $6500 Chilean pesos (about $9 USD), it was quite a hefty price for a sandwich, but with the island prices and the portion you get it was understandable. The sandwich had what had to be at least 6 or 7 ounces of cooked tuna steak, with grilled tomatos, avocado, lettuce, mayo,pickles, and the peanut butter. This was another sandwich that I had here that could easily be split with another person. There was a heroic amount of mini pickles in this thing, I think it was to counteract the sweetness of the peanut butter, which was a chunky one that ended up being more of a texture than a flavor as a result. I’m not sure if the regular mayo served much of a purpose, usually mayo is a good way of counteracting sandwich dryness, but in this case the fish had more than enough moisture to prevent that and the avocado added a creamy element. What I really appreciated about this sandwich is that the tuna seemed to be really the focal point of the flavor, everything else seemed to work in a nice conjunction with the meat (it doesn’t always work that way when you get to a certain amount of sandwich ingredients). The grilled tomato was a nice touch, it added some savory and smoky flavors to the citrusy and subtle fish. The pictures really don’t do the portion of the sandwich justice, the weight of it was really impressive, eventually a live entertainer sat down in front of me and started playing a guitar accompanied by a harmonica. I gave him “the nod” on my way out, and for the next 3 days I kept running into him around town and he would give me a wave and a hearty hello (The Aito Sandwich Brings people together). The inhabitants of this island are all very friendly, a dog walked up to me while I was eating, sat next to me and he put his paw on my thigh, I initially thought he was comforting me because I was eating by myself but he gave me one of those “My sympathy for your sad life doesn’t come for free” looks, so I obliged by giving him some of my lunch. He too would say hi whenever I saw him around town (The Aito Sandwich brings people together).



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