For us the main attraction in Buenos Aires was definitely the food. The city has an incredible food scene and you can eat some amazing meals for relatively cheap. Our fat kid highlights:
- Steak – served everywhere. Argentines are known for their meat grilling abilities (often called asado) and they delivered. Not complicated or served with any sauce (that would be an insult) just high quality beef and salt.
- Pizza – due to the large Italian influence in BA, pastas and pizza are popular. But standard Argentine pizza has a much thicker crust than traditional Italian pizza as well as TONS of cheese. We tried our slices with traditional fainá on top, a flatbread made with chickpea flour, water, olive olive, parmesan cheese, rosemary, onion powder and salt/pepper.
- Parrillada – refers to the style of cooking meat (parrilla) but also describes a meat platter that includes all different cuts of the cow even down to intestines. Travis was super excited to try this. I preferred to stay more ignorant about what each portion was and focus on the vacio (flank steak).
- Empanadas – pastry dough stuffed with savory fillings such as cheese, meat and veggies and then baked. We ate a lot of these around the city and our Airbnb host also taught us how to make traditional Argentine ones stuffed with steak, onion, carrot, red pepper and hard-boiled egg.
- Dulce de leche – a creamy caramel-like thick sauce found everywhere in cakes, cookies, etc. Imagine if heaven had a taste then this would be it. Seriously.
- Helado – the ice cream was amazing, very rich and creamy. Unfortunately for my waistline there was a heladería (ice cream shop) on nearly every corner. Our favorite was Persicco which sold scoops by the kilo and had multiple flavors of dulce de leche alone (dulce de leche with brownie, dulce de leche with banana, the list goes on)
Sorry we don’t have more food pics to share but that would’ve required us not to inhale it the moment the server put the plates down. Whoopsies.
Before arriving we heard that in Argentine culture things are a little later – for instance stores don’t open until 10/11am and people don’t eat dinner until at least 9pm. We were curious how we’d fit in seeing as our usual schedule is an early wakeup to get going for the day, then we tend get tired around 10pm (aka we’re old and lame). But it’s like our bodies knew and we quickly fell into a lazy schedule of sleeping in and 10pm dinners. We stayed at a great Airbnb rental in a neighborhood called Palermo which is surrounded by tons of restaurants, bars and stores. What I loved is each place had so much personality. Each morning we walked around and found a new café for an espresso (espresso con leche for Trav).
We also saw a tango show which was phenomenal. A lot of the shows in BA are huge productions with hundreds of people but this one was very small and intimate with only 14 of us. The show takes you through the history of tango and afterwards they tried to teach us a few basic moves. Verdict: we shouldn’t quit our day job anytime soon to become tango dancers. Oh wait, we don’t have day jobs…either way we should leave it to the professionals!
Next up (and last stop in Argentina) is a few days in Mendoza. I’m already drooling over all the wine I plan to drink…