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When Carnivores Attack

Hiking, hunger strikes, and peculiar food left my soul desiring two things: carne and vino. Enter, Argentina.

I have been looking forward to Argentina since the beginning of time. Slowing down in Buenos Aires was a must. Peruvian food left me queasy and Brazil lacked in the wine department. Luckily, the beautiful country of Argentina is stocked with enough delicious food and wine to make up for lost time.

That is ONE SteakMost dinners were spent in the cozy confines of a parrilla, an Argentine steakhouse. These can be defined simply enough: prime cuts of beef, provoleta (thick slices of grilled cheese), and smooth malbecs. Yup, the caloric intake was reprehensible, but it is sooooo good! However, there exists one minor problem. Your typical feed time rolls around and your stomach performs backflips. You rub it, telling it will be OK, maybe bribe it with some red wine. “Just wait until 10:30pm,” you tell it. It is truly strange to be seated on a Sunday night at 10:00pm with no more than a couple tables occupied. Thirty minutes later and there is a wait to be seated. Oh, and most parrillas are cheap. We went out of our way to spend $40 for the two of us.

Moonlighting as foodies, we aimed to clean out Buenos Aires’ stock of beef. Here is FOF’s Top Three List:

  • La Brigada – San Telmo Barrio: Full of locals, meat melts in your mouth, A+ chorizo, charming aesthetics, and the price was reasonable. Even the pouring rain couldn’t ruin it for the six carnivorous diners.
  • El Primo – Baez Street: Chic location with matching waitresses (Greg put himself in timeout for making eyes at our server with a cute little body). The provoleta was fantastic and the scene was spectacular… more on this later.
  • La Cabrera – Palermo Soho Barrio: Probably the #1 reviewed parrilla in all of BA, so very touristy. So much in fact, there are three locations within one block of each other. But the reputation is justified. Meat was supreme, but the sides were so-so and wine list unimpressive (see expensive).

Grownup Pre-Party El Primo Praying to the Beef God

Matt & Laura were on holiday from the Windy City and Ryan (AKA Fernet) & Laura Keller were on their first leg of a one year journey around the globe. Unknowingly, the six of us decided to show Buenos Aires how Chicago transplants spend a Saturday night. Greg and I picked up appetizers and a few bottles of wine prior to hosting a one hour (two hour max) get together before a feast. Nope. Four hours and seven bottles of sweet sweet nectar later, we finally headed to El Primo on Baez Street for a 12:30am dinner. Thus, Greg had misbehaved and was punished with the dunces corner. We chowed down, then searched for a bar… any bar that would house us. We discovered a delightful haunt serving overpriced Grey Goose and multiple couples kissing passionately. We just couldn’t let the nonsense continue any longer so a plan was hatched. Matt and Fernet would consume glasses of Jameson, Greg and Laura Walker would dance without abandon, and Laura Keller and I played photographer/nanny. The locals playing kissy face took the occasional breath to shake their heads in disapproval, then finally cracked a smile. Then the jams were replaced with song birds… it was 5:30am. That is how Chicago does it!

For one night at least… recuperation was slow.

Carne and vino define Buenos Aires’ place in world. My cholesterol would support this reputation.

 - Ash

Learn From Our Footsteps:

  1. Baez Street in Palermo is not to be missed.   The place is swarming with superb beef joints and cool nightlife. Take the Subte there and cab it home.

  2. Empanadas in BA are also fantastic and each establishment has their own take. I loved the ham and cheese concoctions. They are cheap too.

  3. The late dinner time impacts all of your day. So sleep in, eat a big breakfast, enjoy a late lunch, take a nap, then stuff your face. Rinse and repeat.

  4. Inquire with your waiter about serving sizes. In many cases, two people can split an entree.

  • Name

    loved you manners Ashley… lol
    Greg did you spend the whole night in trouble!?!?!
    Good to see you having fun Chicago style!

  • fofs

    Nina – I was able to escape the doghouse, but not before Ashley
    requiring me feed her grapes, massage her sweaty feet, and fold her
    sink laundry. I would have preferred the doghouse.

    - Greg

  • fofs

    Nina – I was able to escape the doghouse, but not before Ashley
    requiring me feed her grapes, massage her sweaty feet, and fold her
    sink laundry. I would have preferred the doghouse.

    - Greg

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