Saturday, 22 December 2012
Buenos Aires: Restaurants and Foods
Argentina is famous for lots of good quality beef, but actually there is much more to food in Buenos Aires. Nevertheless, on any visit to Argentina you must visit a good quality parrilla. A parrilla is a grill or steakhouse. A popular one in San Telmo, which is in Estados Unidos, is La Brigada. This restaurant possesses numerous cut of beef and the waiter will be able to present it to you by cutting large cuts of beef with a spoon. Not surprisingly, the meat melts in the mouth. Another great accompaniment is the Malbec wine list. All the fine wines (approximately AR$ 100+ a bottle) are decantered.
Argentinian Parrillas / Steak
However, Buenos Aires is full of parrillas and some of the cheaper end can make for a great night out. Be aware of some of the language; Bife de Chorizo is a Sirloin Steak, Entrana is a skirt steak, Bife de Lomo is a Fillet Steak and so on. However, parrillas also stock a great line in Pork (Cerdo) and Lamb (Cordero). Popular pork cuts are Bondiola (Tenderloin), Morceja (Sweetbreads) and Argentine Morcilla (Black Pudding) and Choripan (Argentina’s Chorizo). The desserts in a parrilla will focus around Dulce de Leche, Argentina’s pride, and ice cream. Starters and side dishes to be aware of are Empanadas, Humitas, Tamales, salad and papas fritas (french fries).
Buenos Aires is a centre for immigration from all over the world. Therefore, Spanish and Italian food is available, as is Peruvian from the more recent migration to Buenos Aires. Italian influence is apparent all over Argentina, but especially in Buenos Aires. This has led to some great ice cream parlour and coffee, all over Buenos Aires. However, fine Italian dining can be found at Sette Bacco in Aguero, Recoleta. This is a smaller, quaint restaurant with excellent carne, pasta and fish. There are more impressive Italian restaurants in Recoleta and in the other barrios. If you are self-catering in Argentina, you should visit Pasta Fresca shops for some fresh pasta. This is great quality, often produced by family recipes, and very cheap.
Spanish immigration to Argentina was primarily from Galicia and Basque country, which are two regions with a strong food culture. Gallego (from Galicia) cuisine is famous for great fish. In Belgrano, there is a fantastic Gallego restaurant in the lovely tree lined street of Olleros. They have truly excellent fish. In fact, this street also has an excellent Greek restaurant and some delightful cafes.
Peruvian FoodFor me, Peru is one of the last great cuisines that have not been fully discovered by the world. Peruvian cuisine is a mix of influence from African slavery, Japanese and Chinese immigration, Spanish colonial influence and the indigenous cuisine of Peru. Therefore, there are flavours and ingredients to suit all people. Ceviche (citrus marinated fish), causa, tacu tacu and some excellent spicy dishes list only a few of the Peruvian delights. The alcoholic cocktails of Pisco Sour is also delicious, although can be quite strong and does contain egg white, in case you don’t like eggs. Astrid y Gaston is a premier restaurant in all South American Capitals and Madrid. In Buenos Aires, it is within a large 19th century house in Palermo Chico and certainly worth a visit.