And now for the most important part of our Argentina Trip…

26 Oct

This will be my last post about our yearly trip to Argentina, because I know you are probably all bored by now, and I’m actually forgetting some parts of the trip, because while it has only been 3 weeks since we got back… it feels more like 3 years!

But, I could not signed off without detailing the other past time of our trip, which can be sum up in one word:

EATING

Boy, did we eat!

During this trip, most of us had our little cheat sheat with restaurant suggestions from co-workers, friends, Internet, mothers… and of course the hotel staff, the people on the street of Buenos Aires and our guts.  While we eat a lot more that what I’m going to mention here,  we narrow down our experiences as follow…

First up: OSAKA

Osaka’s cuisine is a mix of Japanese, Thailand, Chinese and Peruvian gastronomy. The restaurant is located in the district of Palermo, considered nowadays as being one of the more “smart” area in Buenos Aires.

After a 30+ minute cab ride from the hotel, we arrive to encounter the restaurant plenty full, we waited about  20 minutes for the table, but considering that we were a total of 7 people, and it was Friday night, we did not mind the wait.  Plus the smells that were coming out of the kitchen were amazing.

Once seated we dove into our menus and then… well, uh.. we were stumped! Everything n the menu sounded good.  The bargaining around the table started… “what are you going to order?” and responses follow the trend “Oh, if you order that, I order the other stuff you were thinking about and we share?” and on and on, until our waitress saves us!  She came in, took one look of our confusion and asked us if it would be ok for her to make the menus suggestion.  The resounding yes could be heard across the restaurant.  She basically then suggested we start with a sample of all of their most favorite dishes in the Sushi department and cold plates.. then moving to the “hot” plates – we all agreed and sat back for culinary delight.

And people, we were impressed with EVERYTHING.  The sushi was fresh and the mix of textures and flavors were excellent.  The services was exceptional.  Our waitress was sure to come around and explain what she was putting in front of us, and then giving us time between the next offering for us to rest our palates and bellies.  If you travel to Buenos Aires, this is a must in your restaurant line up – as a group we all agree that this was our favorite restaurant in the whole trip.

Osaka Table Decor

Osaka Table Decor

Seco de la Costa

Seco de la Costa

Of course we could not pass up desserts:

It has CHOCOLATE that is all we needed to know

It has CHOCOLATE that is all we needed to know

Next up: LAS PENCAS

This little gem is located in San Telmo and this one was not on anyone’s restaurant list.  Basically we stumble on to it after our fist choice was totally booked and the wait time was over 1 hour and we were all very, very hungry – as in Starving!  So, we basically decided to walk down the street and we came upon this tucked in a corner.

Their cuisine is  “Andina” which means traditional fare from Northern Argentina. Using a wide variety of ingredients including meats, root vegetables, grasses and grains, which creates pleasing combination of flavors and aromas.  The restaurant address is Estados Unidos 501 (which means USA in spanish – kind of ironic don’t you think?) the docor was very typica and fun and the service (once more) was excellent, the waiter took the time to explain the menu, he gave us his recommendation and since it was our theme to be adventurous we did not take it for granted and took his word for it.

And we got to try our fist carpacio made from llama meat – and it was a hit.  One of the boys went with  the Raviolis and by far was the popular dish around the table

Ironically its located on a street named Estados Unidos, which means USA

Ironically its located on a street named Estados Unidos, which means USA

The hit dish, the Raviolis:

Yummy

Yummy

And of course we had to do this.

Argentina is know for meat, meat and more MEAT, and we could not pass up the chance to go to its most popular Steakhouse: Cabañas Las Lilas

This is a steak lover’s paradise, so if you are not a steak aficionado, you might not do justice to the quality of steak here. Las Lilas raises their own cattle on their own private farms, so you can already envision the quality control they have here and how wonderful the meat was going to be.

Its located in Puerto Madero, which is a gastronomic delight in the city, lining up its may street with restaurants, upon restaurants.

Pricier than most restaurants, Cabaña Las Lilas begins with an appetizer sampler and extensive bread selection that are both included in a mandatory 15 peso cover charge (”cubierto” in Spanish). After that, appetizers (ranging from around 20-35 pesos) and wine (45 pesos and up to over 1000) can be ordered; including selections of amazing carpaccio dishes with a small arugula salad and shaved fresh Parmesan cheese. (Yeah we ordered it and DEVOUR it tool)

While there are other options for entrees, no one in my party of seven people had the nerve to order anything but a big, juicy piece of masterfully grilled red meat. (Ok, I did not order a steak, because of course it would be wasted on me, since I could not eat it) but the “Oh my god” and “Its so soft” coming from the table pretty much seal the deal that we hit the mother load in steak heaven.

The gang ready to dig in

The gang ready to dig into the juice steaks

And did I mention the breads and the wine? Or the Original way in serving it? (the bread, not the wine)

One type of bread and wine

One type of bread and wine

Or the lables on the steak, which promp us to shout to the waitres that we all wanted some!

I'm Juicy! Yes you are!!!

I'm Juicy! Yes you are!!!

And she happily brought as 3 sets, because us crazy tourist need to take these type of things home!

Cows and more Cows!

Cows, Cows and more Cows!

And while we were ready to call it quits and take a much needed nap in order to start the process of digestion…we still gorged ourselves with a selection of desserts, ranging from a homemade chocolate masterpiece to a panqueque (Argentine version of a crepe) overflowing with their Dulce de Leche wonderfulness.

So last word on this restaurant? GO!

And since I realized that this post is long and it has taken me over one hour to write and manipulate pictures and answer text from my phone and cook breakfast… I need to take back my word and tell you that this will be SECOND to LAST post about Argentina cuisine… Because we still have left over another Steakhouse in El Calafate and of course we could not leave Argentina and not go to an Italian restaurant.  So more to come folks.

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3 Responses to “And now for the most important part of our Argentina Trip…”

  1. Carolina October 29, 2008 at 8:23 pm #

    Mo forwarded me your web address and I must say, I really enjoy your blog! It’s great. The description of the food alone makesme wish I could have traveled with you to Argentina. By the way, congratulations on voting for the first time. Your vote DOES count, and we need every one we can get! Much love, Cuca

  2. Mo October 30, 2008 at 1:54 am #

    Hey, I want to here more about the food ! 🙂

  3. eusmaca October 30, 2008 at 2:50 am #

    Carolina… its great to see you around these parts.. hope you stay a while.. Thanks for the compliments, I try, its my space to rant and rave and make fun of my boring life…I try to post at least once a day… but, its not to be with the type of schedule I have… so for the last couple of months I been very bad about it.. but soon it will change!

    Argentina was great, I’m sure that Mo will tell you all the juicy details!

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