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Thank you, Buenos Aires

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chilaquiles, one of my favorite Mexican comfort foods, at Cielito Lindo, Palermo SoHo.  Tortillas cooked in spicy green sauce, with melted cheese, onions, a side of beans, and a Corona.

“El Campestre”, breakfast special at El Francés, Palermo SoHo, included with our apartment suite.  Pan negro (nice seedy whole-wheat bread, though this day they ran out and it’s white), scrambled eggs with cheese, marmalade, queso crema (cross between cream cheese and sour cream), and café con leche.  I AM NEVER GOING DRINKING NESCAFE AGAIN, Buenos Aires, you reminded me of my soul.

Big special dinner at La Cabrera, Palermo SoHo.  Alice and I split an order of homemade fusilli with sundried tomatoes, regular tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and grilled vegetable kabaob.  This is a parilla place so you are supposed to get meat, but the token vegetarian items were superb.  And the wine, of course.

Churros con chocolate at Café Tortoni, downtown Buenos Aires.  I think churros are from Spain but they make me think of Mexico and most importantly, what’s not to like about fried dough.  Also this “chocolate” was one pitcher of warm milk (in front) and one of heavenly thick chocolate (closer to me, of course), mixed to divine perfection.  I also got a side order of whipped cream.  This is vacation, people.

Espinica pizza at Siamo nel Forno, Palermo SoHo.  Alice found this one on the internet, and this pizza was divine: perfect crust, goat feta, garlic, fresh spinach on top, all coming together in perfection.

Tortilla de espinaca, tomate, queso and papas a la española at El Obrero, La Boca.  A Spanish-run, tavern-like restaurant decorated soccer jerserys and old Coke ads, where the bathroom takes you outside past a crate of onions and a refrigerator full of (freshly) dead animals.  And damn good food (tortilla is the Spanish omelette/frittata wonderful egg meal).

A few facturas, Argentine pastries, from Las Familias, Palermo SoHo.  By the way, these two together cost 3 pesos, US $0.75.

FABULOUS rice noodles and vegis and tofu at Green Bamboo, Palermo Hollywood.  Also on right, remnants of one of the best mixed drinks I’ve ever had, of vodka, lemongrass, and mint.  When we were warned this restaurant “was like going to Vietnam” I knew I wanted to go — real Asian food!  The first since January!  It was a splurge but so well done.  We also got a welcoming salad of pickled cabbage, peanuts, and cilantro.

Okay, we got Asian food again: vegetarian roll (and Mom’s vegis and grilled Salmon) at restaurant at Japanese garden.  I’m not usually a big sushi person, but this was just right.

An unfortunately incomplete representation of the feast of small plates we enjoyed (after almost an hour wait) at Sarkis, an Armenian restaurant in Palermo Hollywood.  Excellent homemade hummus (I haven’t even had the Tribe hummus in half a year), olives and cheese, a salad of lightly fried vegetables and almonds, warm bread, vegetarian mousaka, a baklava-like desert and then a new discovery, almendrado, a square slice of vanilla ice cream coated and ridden with bits of intensely roasted almonds.

Our last dinner, La Dorita, Palermo Hollywood.  We started with the ensalada del huerto and Ave Malbec while watching the Copa America on the big screen — Argentina tragically lost to Uruguay.  My tallarines caseras con salsa Bechamel (homemade egg linguini with Bechamel) was that kind of expertly simple food that didn’t need any frills to be remarkable.

Not pictured:

  • Multiple ice creams at Persico, next to Las Familias bakery.
  • My first broccoli in six months (with one exception) in an exceptionally well-executed homemade pasta dish at La Baita, also Palermo Hollywood.
  • A few mediocre meals.
  • My lovely parents footing the bill for this family vacation (if you’re lucky and you know it, clap your hands and say thank you, again)
  • Things we did besides eat (i.e. walk around looking for restaurants).  Okay, really, there were bookstores, a garden, a museum, a cheesy tango tour, a trip to an historic estancia (ranch), walking through beautiful old neighborhoods that feel like Europe, crossing streets that feel like New York…
  • The inevitable low points (exhaustion, crankiness, familiar family tensions, when we realized we lost my parent’s camera)

Most importantly, this week was full of the simple joy, one of the best I can think of, of being together, all four of us, for the first time since Christmas:

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sunday, July 17, 2011 10:58 pm

    Awesome, k thanks, Margaret, NOW I’M STARVING. 🙂

  2. Jane Woodman permalink
    Monday, July 18, 2011 10:25 am

    Sounds like a wonderful family! (We just got home, back in summer mode),

  3. David Russell permalink
    Monday, July 18, 2011 10:42 am

    Mmm good it was!

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