Buenos Aires is not just a city, it’s a metropolis. Full of gorgeous old buildings and tonnes of bakeries. To my gluten free friends, I wish you luck in this city. The neighbourhoods of Palermo are where I felt a vibrant energy – tree lined streets and sub neighbourhoods with slick names such as Soho and Hollywood are full of funky bars and restaurants.
Eat late, drink late, stumble home late in Palermo
I can hand on heart report that Argentineans lives up to their reputation of being carnivores, who take great pride in serving up great grilled meat in the endless choice of Parilla’s (Argentine steakhouse and the name of the metal grill used to cook). I accidentally learnt a lesson about NOT ordering ‘Parrillada’. When it first hit the table I quickly stabbed my fork into what I thought was chicken (turns out it was tripe) and the eye fillet (liver disguised as beef). Let’s just say I won’t be ordering that again. Luckily there was an abundant flow of Malbec to wash it down. Malbec is from the wine region of Mendoza, Argentina and one of my favourite vinos. So naturally I’ve indulged in a glass (several) everyday whilst being in Argentina, it is after all very cheap here and full of antioxidants. Gracias to whoever first brought the vine cuttings from France to Argentina.
I had a lot of different experiences in Buenos Aires, here are some of my picks of where to eat, drink and be merry
La Cabrera Restaurant (Palermo, Soho) – Apparently this restaurant has won a lot of awards and therefore think that not eating here whilst in Palermo would be like going to Italy and not eating pizza (then posting a picture of it). I probably shouldn’t have had the grilled Proveleta (goats cheese) before indulging in almost 500g of steak, but the meat coma that followed was well worth it. Perfectly grilled meat is served with a long wooden board of sides including eggplant, pickles and sensational homemade sauces.
Pain et Vin wine bar (Palermo, Soho) – A cosy space that feels like you are in somebody’s home, which bakes it’s own sourdough bread.Tick. Tick. I saw a group celebrating a birthday the night I visited and said ‘who needs cake when there is smoked meat, cheese, bread and a wall full of grape juice to try’. The host Pablo seemed to have superhuman powers, being able to tell me what I felt like drinking, when I didn’t even know myself. Every recommendation was spot on and followed with a party in my mouth. I tilted my head and squinted my eyes in confusion when Pablo came over with a glass of Torrontes (Argentinian white wine grape) and told us ‘chew’ whilst taking a sip. It worked! The sweet smelling vino actually tasted dry and crisp.
El Sanjuanino Restaurant (Recoleta) –Three hours after walking into the restaurant where I thought we were grabbing a quick lunch, I realised we had stumbled across a gem that is popular with both locals and travellers. Joseph looked after us all afternoon and was hilarious. He attempted to play matchmaker for other diners and provided my table with a never-ending supply of Malbec vino. With all this free vino came great traditional Argentinian food. Milanesa, which is referred to everywhere as ‘crumbed meat’ (aka veal schnitzel), lentil and chorizo stew and after trying Empanadas all over the city, this restaurant was up there with my favourites.
Thelonious Jazz club (Palermo) – A really cool place to spend time in with a warm inviting presence. This venue had a great ambience, as it was full of vintage character within the converted mansion, a great drinks menu, locals and a varied age demographic. The musicians really love what they do and this energy radiated throughout the room. An absolute bargain at $180 pesos (around $18 AUD) and a must do for music lovers visiting Buenos Aires. And do yourselves a favour and try the Chocotorta cake it also created a party in my mouth.
My next post will be after visiting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Like my Facebook page ‘Belindness’ for some of the other places I visit in-between posts.