Restaurants & Bars

Our Visit to Buenos Aires 4/17/08-4/23/08

jmdhsmiami | May 1, 200806:07 AM

Rather than type in different versions of our dining experiences (sorry for lack of detail of the food, but if you want to see food pics let us know and I can email you our food pics) This is the diary of what we did the whole trip and where we ate. Any questions, comments, or feedback let me know!

So we arrived on 4/17 and headed straight over to our new “home away from home at Home Hotel Buenos Aires”. We hung out in the lobby until our scheduled spa treatments starting at 9am. We were done by 12-12:30 and our room, the garden suite, was not ready so we went to your referral of the Bar del Gallego for lunch. It was interesting as of the 3 locations to eat at that intersection, the true portenios were eating there! Danny got a picture of the old man cooking the meets in the oven, very cool and a great way to start our week in BA. Danny said that was one of our two best meals in BA.

Finally we were able to check into our room. Both of us dropped our jaws when we walked into our room. From our pool courtyard, the spacious ground floor with living area . The upstairs balcony was great, but it was a shame we didn’t have time to lay on the roof for sun. The weather was great, but don’t know if you heard how the farmers were burning the fields to clear them and they have been protesting regarding soybean growing for exportation. The direction of wind brought thick smoke into the city in the morning that eventually would burn off by after lunch. But it proved slightly difficult to breathe and we were either coughing or sneezing in the morning until it cleared!

I compiled our eating list from the NY Times, which I realized when we were getting closer to departure were all the tourist trap destinations. I obtained suggestions from sites like www.mattbites.typepad.com/mattbites and a food writer in BA. There is a website I found on www.chowhound.com located at www.guiaoleo.com.ar.

So we chilled Thursday during the day and went to La Cabrera for dinner at an unheard of 830pm. We didn’t feel like we stood out as within 20 minutes the whole place was packed and had about 35-40% tourists vs. locals. Good meal and we love the way they present the side dishes and tapanades for use with the meal. We enjoyed that aspect of the restaurants as you didn’t have your plates overflowing with sides for the meats. We walked back to our hotel, the funniest observation is when you go by a restaurant or café around 8ish and it is dead as a door naiil, you worry for the business owner but worry even more when you walk by it after 10 and it is still pretty empty!

Friday we chilled at the hotel until 11am after our great “home breakfast”. The hotel as a whole had a great vibe and we pretty much ate breakfast every morning at the hotel. One has to be careful with the pastries! YUM! So we did a garden tour to the Jardín Japonés and the Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays. We were on the search for a good bank so we had walked from the hotel to the gardens which by the end of that we were done and came back to the hotel again!

The dining experience at our Friday night restaurant was a HUGE failure. Called Osaka, if you have ever been to Sushi Samba , you had a better meal there. It is hyped as the hot restaurant of the moment and while it may have had a scene it had little else. I had ordered the sashimi, which came in a plan A or B, I figured I would live large on the US dollar and ordered both. They didn’t have all fish available so I ended up with a serving of less than exotic shrimp, salmon, and white fish. We then met our tour guide who took us down to the Broadway of BA and walked us around the federal buildings, including Casa Rosada and a little of Florida (the pedestrian mall), not cute at night but it was cool walking around and we didn’t feel the least bit threatened. Our guide, who was gay took us to a gay bar Sitges Bar? All I know is for $20 all you can drink from a select drink menu that included everything from the Priscilla Queen of the Desert Lime Daiquiri to Sex on the Beach! Oh, and he took us by the transvestite prostitutes working the park. Apparently legal and the girls were impressive and some were scary!

Saturday we went to La Boca. A little skanky but was fun to se. While on our trip so far, we met a great gay Argentinean couple who insisted on taking us out to dinner. It is stereotyped that Argentineans are rude, but we found them very nice in general. So in our horrible Miami Spanglish, we communicated with them but it was fun in trying to understand each other. They took us down by the water in Porto Manero to the food trailers serving the locals. We had steak sandwiches and French fries that was great, low key, and fun eating with locals and not a tourist in sight! We then went to the area where the Faena Hotel is? It is turning into the up and coming area with new high rises and restaurants. Finally had our first taste at the Freddo Gelato! YUM! We are on our way to an expanding waist line in South America!

Sunday was a day of rest as we were really tired from our late night with our new local friends. Our guide said that reservations were not needed at Olsen, so we walked over and were told we would have a table at 4pm! I was very upset as one of the things to do on Sunday, per Timeout Mag is to have brunch at Olsen. So we walked to the plaza at the end of Honduras on way to Palermo Holllywood and had a whatever meal at a place I can’t even remember. So as planned we went to San Telmo. Interesting antique market and as they say another man’s shit is another man’s treasure, but not for us. We then walked up the main drag to the end and took it home. In walking around Honduras and the shopping we went to Lo de Jesus, a parilla in the area. Solid local food. Passed on dinner as we ate at 4pm and weren’t done until 5-530.

Monday, we did more tour guide stuff and went to the Renault Café by the Malba Museum. Apparently in BA most dealerships offer a café, such as the Mini Cooper, Ferrari, and others had a restaurant as part of the dealership. We were sorry we didn’t know this sooner as Danny loves his cars and would probably have wanted to hit every showroom restaurant! We did a walk thru the Malba Museum. By the way, the flower sculpture that opens and closes, wasn’t it cool!?! Monday night was dinner at Piegari. It was another highly regarded restaurant, but it was typical Italian Bistro fare. It was good, but we have a chain of those kinds of restaurants in Miami.

Tuesday we went to Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay, boring, not sure how much better it would have been in season, we were ready at 1230-1pm to get back on the boat for our 4pm departure!

Tuesday night we went to Nectarine. Incredible meal in an interesting street. Reminded me of Espanola Way here in Miami Beach. It had a couple of restaurants a dance studio and Nectarine upstairs. Duck/foie gras meatballs with fresh pasta and mushrooms. Fillet 3 ways and great dessert. I will forward the pics of our food consumption in a separate email. I wanted to take written notes of everything we ate, but that didn’t even make it to the first meal.

So Wednesday night we were to fly back, so we got a late checkout and hung out in Palermo and did last minute shopping. We brought home 3 cowhides. At 150-200 US each you could not go wrong! We ended up going to Olsen for lunch. Interesting menu. You pick your main course, and sides and they serve it on one plate at one set price. Interesting space as Danny thinks it was a garage in a previous life.

As a whole, we had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves. We will definitely go back, I would love to try and go back next year, technically it is closest to us in Miami and is an easy trip. We would then explore the other provinces like Cordoba, Mendoza, and Patagonia.

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