Published: November 1st 2008October 14th 2008
Renounce your vegetarianism now!
Let me tell you, there is no looking back! Who would have thought the day might come where I would leave the salad on the plate, as there is no room after the 600gm steak! Two months ago I would have thought this meant the Apocalypse was here and Armaggedon was upon us...but there are no sounds of horses hooves, just the sizzling from the parilla!
Buenos Aires was the perfect place to meet up with our good friends Sean and Zoz, who better to wine and dine with? We were staying in a chic hotel in Palermo, the trendy area of cafes, restaurants and boutique shopping...perfect! With a European feel to the city, it was easy to relax and enjoy some "chill time"!
The food at all the restaurants was amazing and we certainly didn't hold back, enjoying the extra large portions, amazing vino and fantastic service! We had been given a tip for the best steak in Argentina, La Cabrera....we made our way there on the second night and the free champagne sweetened the hour wait for a table and once our plates arrived there was no memory of it at
all!!! Frank´s eyes boggled at the 800g ribeye steak and mine almost fell out of my head at the entire fillet rolled and stuffed with sundried tomatoes, ham and cheese, I was served up! Sean and Zoz who had made much more sensible orders and were not quite defeated by the serving were already planning their return visit to the restaurant (having a couple of extra days there later on)!
One thing you can not avoid when you are in Argentina is dulce de leche - a soft gooey caramel which is used as a spread at breakfast, lathered between biscuits, an ice cream flavour or just eaten off a spoon. Needless to say, it was tried in every which way possible and the verdict seems to be sickeningly nice in small quantities. All that hard work on the Inca trail, tragically undone in 5 days!
Another frequently seen local culinary? item is Mate, a herb drink people consume all day, everyday, carrying a flask around with them to top it up as needed. You can see people in the parks, travelling or even while working, sipping on these strange looking cups. Zoz managed to convince a shop
assistant and our somewhat reluctant hotel bar man come concierge to give her a taste of the infamous Mate.....I think she came to the conclusion that this is definitely an aquired taste or "locals drink."
We did fit a little site seeing in between the fine dining, checking out the areas of; La Boca
, famous for the colourful tin houses of camenito and tango, although more memorable for the tourist tatt shops and Sean being jumped upon by a somewhat seedy looking woman in Tango attire, demanding that he pay for photos...I guess there are some downsides to being so tall and standing out in a crowd! (Zoz if you email the photos i will upload them onto the next blog he he he) Peurto Madero
(the port)... slightly reminiscent of Darling Harbour although more warehouse style buildings and cranes lit up at night. A very long row of restaurants and 16 year old brides having their photos taken. San Telmo
, the antiques strip and fair with more tango displays and street vendors selling empanadas the size of rugby balls. Recoleta Cemetry
, the graveyard of the past rich and famous, mini houses with alters,
stained glass windows and statues adorning them. It was sad to see the ones which have begun to decay due to the lack of care and attention, some of the actual coffins looked like they were hanging open!...we dutifully joined the line of tourists and filed past Evita´s grave.
but mostly we just enjoyed the time catching up, enjoying the brilliant sunshine, shopping (more mens shops than womans....who would ever have thought this tragedy could happen!) and of course seeing a tango show!
There are more photos below