Buenos Aires Day 3

| | Comments (0)


We were determined to finally try some of the famous Argentinian beef we have heard so much about. In Buenos Aires it is served at restaurants called "parillas". We booked a parilla tour, which was basically a walk around to the parillas frequented mostly by locals to get an authentic taste (like everything famous in Argentina there are a lot of places that cater only to tourists).

The tour was pretty interesting and we were reunited with a couple from the wine tour (Hugh and Vivian) who were on their way eventually to Antarctica. We also met a couple of other folks (again someone from DC, technically Reston, VA) and a family from New York. The tour started with something called "choripan", which is basically a chorizo sausage cut up and placed in some fresh bread (like a baguette). It's absolutely delicious and was probably the best thing I had tasted so far on the trip. There were two sauces to try with the choripan, a chimichurri and a sauce composed of roughly chopped onion, tomato, and peppers. The chimichurri was not the type we were used to, which involves chopped parsley, onion, and olive oil. The Buenos Aires chimichurri is a red, oily affair flavored with a large quantity of oregano.

Next we moved on to a famous empanada place, but unfortunately it was closed because of the rolling power outages. We moved on to the main event which was at a parilla a couple of doors down still in the Las Carnitas neighborhood. We were seated and they pretty quickly started bringing out the food. We started with some cheese that was grilled--a thicker, drier cheese that didn't really "melt" like most cheeses would when placed on the grill. It was a bit greasy and flavorless, but everyone likes cheese. They then brought out the main course which was an assortment of meats (apparently most Argentinians eat their meat well done, but we were able to order ours medium rare). We were served an assortment of cuts of meat and a generous amount of Malbec (the most popular wine in Argentina) to wash it down. The meal was quite good, but after all of the meat, wine, and hot sun it was time to head back to the hotel for a siesta.

It was again a very hot, muggy day. I love the heat generally, but I was wilting from the combination of the intense, searing sun and the humidity. Rich wanted to do more exploring, so he convinced me to do an impromptu walking tour of our neighborhood, Recoleta. We had already checked out the cemetery, but we did a walk outside the walls of the cemetery, where we discovered a mall a few mere blocks from our hotel (damn that long, unhappy walk to the Pacificos mall two days before!) where as it turned out, they sold flip flops at the Recoleta mall. Sigh. Also in the neighborhood were a number of cute cobblestoned streets and monuments, both small and grand, that we didn't know the significance of. When we did the parilla tour the day before, Vivian and Hugh had told us that they were doing a graffiti art tour of Buenos Aires later in the day. I think there is some value to graffiti art, but it generally makes me more angry than anything else. There were many beautiful buildings and monuments that had been tagged by idiots with spray cans and it's just so frustrating to see things that people toil to design and build to be appreciated by all being ruined by someone who thinks that they can do better. Please confine your graffiti to your own property or to abandoned buildings. We had to take pictures of monuments at extreme angles so as not to get ugly tagged names in the shots.

We decided on doing just one "fancy" meal in Buenos Aires and so based on reviews we went with a place called iLatina. It was the #1 reviewed restaurant on TripAdvisor, which is not exactly the Michelin guide, but it still looked pretty good. We were scared at first as we walked we were greeted by a family with 2 young children who were being allowed to bounce off the walls and jump on the chairs, but apparently this was part of a larger group that had rented half of the restaurant. The dinner was pretty good, the actual courses are below

Appetizer: White corn arepas with anise and colombian hogao.

Bread Basket: Banana bread, Chipá, coconut bread, focaccia with olives and mixed
seeds bread. Lime and pepper flavored butter.

First course: Confit duck with tamarind and quinoa salad.

Second course: Caramelized prawns with spicy pineapple and fennel.

Third course: Barú style ceviche with seasonal fish, mango biche, coconut and lychee.

Fourth course: Peruvian Chupe with grilled octopus.

Fifth course: Brased pork in coffee and sugar cane reduction.

Sixth course: Ecuadorian cacao truffle with sea salt and olive oil.

Seventh course: Avocado and Aguardiente ice cream.

Final course: Typical colombian coffee infused with cinamonn and cardamome. Petit

Leave a comment