Discussion in 'The South of the USA FAQ' started by trilingual, Apr 30, 2003.
Please post info about Buenos Aires restaurants here.
Basically, BA has good restaurants everywhere.
If you want to stroll around and compare offerings, go to Recoleta and try the strip of restaurants along the park there from La Biela around to the Village cinema complex. On Friday and Saturday nights in particular they will all be open until 2am serving dinner non-stop from early evening onwards.
They're all good value, they give good deals if you're interested in dining early (ie before 10pm!), and many of them are traditional Argentine grill/BBQ places offering meat cooked on a huge grill in their front window.
One of them offered an early dinner special of an entree and a huge set of beef ribs for 9 pesos. That's around USD3, an absurdly cheap price.
When I say "meat", however, I really mean most of a dead animal. Don't expect a small juicy steak. Half a cow is likely to be plonked on your plate. One of them offered a 34oz steak, about a full kilo of beef. You can get a quarter of a suckling pig or (minimum) half a chicken.
Try the chorizos, Argentine pork sausages and nothing like as hot and spicy as their Spanish counterparts of the same name. If you like such things you can get a black pudding (stuffed with blood, herbs and minced sweetbreads), and there are various other dishes involving kidneys and the like. Most of the restaurants have good English translations on their menus, so you know more or less what you are letting yourself in for.
Or you could try a pamplona. This is a steak rolled up with cheese and herbs and grilled. It's the size of a rolled roast big enough for three people - and it's served on a plate for one. You can also get chicken and pork pamplonas.
Italian restaurants are extremely good (BA has a huge number of people of Italian descent) and offer a pleasant change from the gargantuan amounts of meat served at traditional Argentine restaurants.
Another pleasant experience is simply sitting at one of the outdoor cafes and watching the world go by. There's an excellent one at Recoleta called La Biela (it says it's world famous but I'd never heard of it before I went to BA) with a huge selection of drinks and snacks like a Parisian cafe on the Champs Elysees. Try their terribly English high tea (with no teabags in sight - real tea pots, real tea, and a pot of hot water to refresh the teapot too!). Sit outside under the shade of the huge trees (there's a gigantic rhododendron apart from anything else) and just watch the well dressed portenos strut their stuff.
Another cafe (indoor) overlooks the Plaza San Martin on Santa Fe and looks like something straight out of old Vienna. You expect Sigmund Freud to be sitting in one corner reading the paper, while Beethoven and Schubert would probably be sitting in another corner animatedly talking about music.
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