fancy feast (not cat food)

I love cheap Singaporean hawker food which is unprecious and satisfying. On the other end of the foodie spectrum, those molecular gastronomic joints back in NYC always seemed too pretentious for me. Sure, I read reviews and sampled critically good food occasionally. But the restaurants I tried tended to have a home-cooking slant to them. So when Davidson gently persuaded (haha) me to try La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar while in San Telmo, I was expectedly cynical at first.

We were presented with a 14-course tasting menu that cost AR$140 each. Ouch, but a good deal compared to some David Chang venture. (I do love Momofuku with a passion, so don’t even think I am dissing.)

As expected, the plates were huge and the portions were widdle. But they were so pretty. And I did get pretty full after 14 courses. And now I know what those Top Chef judges mean when they talk about deconstruction. We had deconstructed french fries and they were supes unique in a good way. Nice serendipitous surprise for me—I fished out a magazine about Singapore that was passively sitting on their hipster periodical table. Nicely enough, the restaurant was decidedly low-key looking. The major exclusive crap part was the locked front door, even though you could see through the glass from the outside. I guess the waiter has to deem you worthy. Glad he let us in!

Enough chitter chatter, check out my fave dishes and eat here someday. It is worth every penny, especially if the Argentine peso still exchanges in your favour. Which I think will be the case for a while. So sorry, I can’t even explain what I ate—the chef dictated our tasting menu. Hey, you don’t tell Damien Hirst what kind of shark to show.

new barrio, new pictures

According to our guidebooks, Sunday is San Telmo street & antiques fair day. We’re undoubtedly tourists here, so we follow Time Out Buenos Aires. (Aside: I have never looked in Time Out New York, ever)

I did say San Telmo was grim in a previous post. Let me amend that by saying it has dodgy blocks—we really saw children huffing something from a plastic bag on one street corner. But there is a gigantor street fair full of crafts and tourists, some chic-looking restaurants (a future post on that) and some amazing old buildings—some in disrepair. The landscape reminded us of Cuba, but cleaner.

steak for dessert?

Finally, we tried parilla for the first time. It’s touted as the must-try Argentine dish in every guide we’ve read. Essentially, it’s different parts of a cow on a grill. In some restaurants, they serve you the grilled offal as an app before they bestow the choice cuts for the main course.

We ate at Miranda, situated in Palermo Hollywood. I ordered a Bife de Chorizo (pictured, a sirloin) and Davidson had a Lomo (tenderloin). His was Peter Luger level, and mine was heaven on a plate. (Vegetarians, close your eyes)

I wanted it medium rare, but didn’t learn how to say it in Spanish. The waiter said the term was jugosa. He went on to ask if I wanted it con sangre, which I understood to mean “with blood”. Definitely yes!

Then Davidson decided he needed another steak for dessert and looked to see if I could help him eat that. Um, maybe a bite because I was stuffed. We decided to go with another cut for some variety. The picture below is our skirt steak dessert. Happy day.

our first tormenta

Behold this flooded intersection. We waded through quite a few of these to get back home after being caught in a huge storm yesterday. Our initial reaction to the crossing the water was, “No way. Impossible.” We thought we could dodge it by detouring. Many detours later, we realized we could not avoid it. Davidson and I bit the bullet and walked through many pools of blackish water like the locals. “Impossible” definitely became “exceedingly unpleasant”. When we finally arrived at our apartment, our super told us that the electricity was out due to a storm. Fortch, the water heater is gas-operated so we enjoyed hot showers in the dark. My toenails are still grey from from wading in that “water”. I shudder to think what kind of doggie doo and construction dirt we were in. Blech.