Discover Chile’s Beloved Barros Luco: The Ultimate Beef and Cheese Sandwich

The Barros Luco: A Sandwich Worth Savoring

Discover Chile's Beloved Barros Luco: The Ultimate Beef and Cheese Sandwich

When it comes to sandwiches, the Barros Luco is a heavyweight contender. This Chilean delight, named after a former president, is a testament to the fact that sometimes, simplicity is the key to culinary brilliance. Let’s dive into the world of this sandwich and discover what makes it so special.

A Brief History of the Barros Luco

The Barros Luco sandwich is named after Ramón Barros Luco, the 16th president of Chile. Legend has it that he frequently ordered this sandwich at the “Confitería Torres”, a popular restaurant in Santiago, Chile. His order was so regular that the sandwich was eventually named in his honor. Now, that’s what I call leaving a legacy!

What’s in a Barros Luco?

The Barros Luco is a simple sandwich, but don’t let that fool you. It’s packed with flavor and texture that will make your taste buds dance the Cueca (that’s the national dance of Chile, by the way). The sandwich consists of thinly sliced beef steak and melted cheese sandwiched between two slices of fresh bread. That’s it. No fancy sauces, no pickles, no lettuce. Just meat, cheese, and bread. But oh, what a combination!

Choosing the Best Ingredients

When it comes to making a Barros Luco, quality ingredients are key. Here’s what you need to look out for:

  • Beef: Opt for a tender cut like sirloin or ribeye. The beef should be thinly sliced to ensure it cooks quickly and evenly.
  • Cheese: Traditional Barros Luco uses Chilean cheese, but if you can’t find that, a good melting cheese like mozzarella or provolone will do the trick.
  • Bread: A good, crusty bread is essential. Chilean marraqueta is the traditional choice, but a French baguette is a good substitute.

How to Make a Barros Luco

Now that you’ve got your ingredients, it’s time to make your sandwich. Here’s a simple recipe:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil and cook your beef slices until they’re browned and cooked to your liking.
  2. While your beef is cooking, slice your bread and layer one side with cheese.
  3. Once your beef is cooked, layer it on top of the cheese. Top with the other slice of bread.
  4. Place your sandwich in the skillet and cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Flip and cook the other side.
  5. Remove from the skillet, slice, and enjoy!

Food and Drink Pairings

A Barros Luco is a hearty sandwich, so it pairs well with lighter sides like a fresh salad or a bowl of soup. As for drinks, a cold Chilean lager or a glass of Carménère, a red wine variety that originated in Chile, would complement the sandwich perfectly.

The Flavor Profile

The Barros Luco is a study in contrasts. The crusty bread provides a satisfying crunch, which gives way to the tender, juicy beef and the creamy, melted cheese. The simplicity of the ingredients allows each one to shine, creating a sandwich that is greater than the sum of its parts.


The Barros Luco may not have the international fame of a hamburger or a club sandwich, but it’s a hidden gem that deserves to be discovered. Its simplicity is its strength, proving that sometimes, all you need for a great sandwich is good-quality ingredients and a little bit of love.

And remember, as they say in Chile, “Buen provecho!” (Enjoy your meal!).

And now, for a little sandwich humor: Why don’t sandwiches make good comedians? Because their jokes are always stale!

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