Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eating in Argentina Described in One Sentence: You Don't Make Friends With Salad

I never thought i'd see the day...

After two days of being punished with nothing but meat in Argentina, all I wanted was a salad. Don't get me wrong, this is world class beef. The best steak i've ever had happened the first night I was there at a restaurant called "La Brigada" in San Telmo. The famous "Bife de Chorizo," similar to a NY Strip, perfectly cooked with fat that tasted like butter. Wonderful. Perfect. I also had another first - I ordered a dessert, ate it, and ordered another of the same thing. Yes, I am now completely obsessed with Dulce de Leche, served on a crepe at La Brigada...

However, Medium Rare steaks are considered very American, as most Argentineans like their meat well done. The meat still tastes great, but gives your jaw quite a workout. My friends who are winemakers in Mendoza hosted us for a traditional Asado, Argentinean Barbeque, right on the vineyard. This was amazing, no utensils, just bread. And Meat. A fuckload of meat.

Traditional Asado consists of Beef Ribs, Chorizo, Steaks, and Blood Sausage (Morcilla). I am obsessed with blood sausage, and these were the best I've ever had. Sweetbreads (Mojellas) are also readily available, but are considered to be more of a luxury item. This didn't stop me from eating them every chance I got. Except once, someone was offering sweetbread pizza, which actually sounds gross to me.

Two things to never do in Argentina: 1. Eat empanadas with utensils 2. If you're a guy, never order a salad. This is the single easiest way to emasculate yourself in public. Men don't eat salads.

Men probably also don't order ice cream the way I accidentally did (my spanish sucks). Somehow I ended up with a massive waffle cone with three rainbow colored scoops covered in chocolate sauce with a cookie stuck in the middle of it served with a spoon. I quickly ducked into an alley to shove it into my face before more people saw me with it.

Also, people in Argentina don't seem to have any knowledge of the existence of soup. All I wanted was a fucking bowl of soup by the end of it. That's it. Is that too much to ask? Apparently. Unless by soup you mean, Steak Frites.

The one piece of advice? Everybody should go to Buenos Aires. Now. The dollar is very strong and you can eat and drink like an emperor for very little. No matter how much money you have, however, you still can't get a bowl of soup. Even if you have food poisoning and that's all you want... You would murder a loved one for a bowl of soup, ANYTHING for a bowl of soup... Still Nothing..

Spa Food in Argentina


  1. Did you ever read this article? He calls these sorts of vacations "steakations."

  2. Yeah Brad, that pretty much sums it up in much greater detail.
    I forgot that Argentina is also devoid of edible bread. Seriously, the bread is REALLY bad.

  3. Heh, just noticed the tag: "meat induced self loathing."

  4. hey, where do you get chorizo in portland? I've been looking for weeks!

  5. the first time i went to argentina, i had the same problem. i felt full of processed carbs and meat and wanted salad and could find none. yet i've returned 5 times since and have not had the same problem since. most restaurants specializing in parilla will have a vegetable option or salad and i have actually had many amazing soups in BA. i would recommend lele de troya on the corner of thames and costa rica in palermo soho for amazing salads, soups, and anything else. it's my favorite restaurant on the planet!

  6. I am literally dying. You have summed up my last few months in Buenos Aires perfectly. Just yesterday I was pissed off because I CANNOT get soup...all I want is soup!