Eating Elsewhere: Argentina, Part 2 | Bleader

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eating Elsewhere: Argentina, Part 2

Posted By on 09.11.09 at 11:49 AM

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Food from my recent(ish) trip to Argentina; see previous post for an explanation of my previous knowledge of Argentine cuisine (or lack thereof) and of why the photos may be kind of crappy and show half-eaten food. These are from Buenos Aires, where I'd been once before but only for a weekend.

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Ensalada caprese, or caprese salad—but with regular mozzarella instead of fresh. We thought this was an idiosyncrasy of the restaurant, but after getting the exact same thing when we ordered it again at a different place, concluded it was an idiosyncrasy of Argentina. It wasn't bad, though I still prefer it with fresh mozzarella. It was also enormous. That bowl was full when the salad arrived (see note in previous post regarding my unfortunate tendency to eat first and take photos later).


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As in many other South American countries, lunch is the main meal of the day here and most restaurants offer good, cheap fixed-price menus with several options. Portions are generous, to say the least—I’ve already eaten at least three quarters of the salmon and nearly half of the mashed potatoes and squash.


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Hot chocolate and churros at Cafe Tortoni, a historically significant and very touristy place on Avenida Mayo. It’s a fun place to hang out, though, and I spent quite a bit of time there on my previous trip since I always woke up hours before the friend I was traveling with (while it was still technically morning, even) and had time to kill. The hot chocolate there is incredibly thick and rich, and filled me up so much I couldn’t eat lunch even hours later. Well, that and a churro or two.


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Another lunch, slightly more reasonable in portion size: spinach fried thing, mashed potatoes, and salad. You usually create your salad by choosing several ingredients from a list, and lettuce isn’t really considered necessary—so if you order a salad of tomato, egg, and carrot, that’s exactly what you’ll get. Dressing comes in the form of cruets of lemon juice and oil (usually vegetable, olive oil if you're lucky).


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As I mentioned in the last post, although Argentina has some of the best steak in the world, Argentines generally prefer to cook the hell out of it. It's possible, though, to find places that will cook it a punto, or rare, for you. This restaurant, El Estrebe, was one such place. We went twice, and both time the meat was perfectly cooked (I ordered this a little past rare, which is exactly how it arrived) and extremely flavorful.


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Steak rolled with ham, cheese, and red pepper. In the background are French fries with grilled onions.


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Delicious caramel apple pancake with ice cream. Or a third of one, to be precise.


Next up: Santiago

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