Saturday, September 25, 2010

Argentine Food

One of the great things about being in Argentina (there are many), is the exchange rate.  Usually our trips go like this:  fly into some city in Europe, change money, lose half, grumble.  Here however, the dollar is four times stronger than the peso.  Cha-ching!

I've been pleasantly reminded many times in the past few weeks of that infamous day (June 18, 1997), when I was instantly transformed from a 23-year-old broke college graduate with no job, into a 23-year-old rich American King, presiding over the ancient hillside village of Pyrgos, in Santorini, with mountains of drachmas at my disposal!  

And I guess it's kind of like that here, because the direct and delicious result of this wonderful exchange rate is that we can eat at really nice restaurants for next to nothing, so we do...a lot.

The Pacu at our favorite restaurant - Jangada.
Jangada is a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that specializes in grilled river fish.  All the fish they serve is caught by local fishermen in the Parana River (the second-longest river in South America).  Jangada has extremely knowledgeable chefs who prepare each fish by grilling it on it's side, then de-boning it in the traditional manner that has been used by the locals in the jungles surrounding the river for centuries.  The whole fish is presented filleted, and is served with salad, baked potatoes, fried onion rings, and grilled vegetables.  We dine here a few times a week and have tried the Pacu, the Dorado, the Boga, and the White Salmon.  Our friend Lucas runs the place, and always brings us some sort of dulce de leche dessert and a digestif before we go.

Mushrooms Philippe!!

Is that a Dulce de Leche Quesadilla?  So confusing, but sooooo good!  Lucas let me blow-torch the sugar on top.

Ridiculously decadent - Mandi is shaking her head in disbelief.

Mandi's co-worker Andre came to Bonus Aires this past week to attend some meetings with her - he lives in Sao Paulo.  We had breakfast at his hotel a few mornings, and let me tell you, breakfast is completely over-the-top! 

There were all different kinds of breads and muffins, served with jams, salted butter, dark chocolate spread (better than Nutella), dulce de leche spread (of course), fruit salad, whipped yogurt, a large shot glass filled with scrambled eggs with pancetta, whipped cream cheese with chives, delicious espresso, and little shots of nectarine juice, mint juice, and campari with orange juice.  Well, I'll be Bonus Dias-ed!

Andre is on the phone with a local vet to help us with the language barrier.  He speaks four languages (of course).   I can say ashtray in four languages.

Drinks with Andre at his hotel before dinner.  
Working hard.
A few nights ago, we went to a great place called La Cabrera with some friends.  La Cabrera is a famous parrilla, or Argentine steak house.  It is estimated that the average Argentine consumes 150 pounds of beef a year. And I can see why.

When you order the meat, the portion size is huge, and it comes with lots of little side items!  This plate of food (supposedly for one person) costs US $13. 

Are you kidding me?

French fries with lightly scrambled eggs, grilled onions, and cheese?
Shut the f*%k up!

To the left.

To the right.
Check out the bathroom!

All this razzle dazzle - I had to look around to make sure I was in the men's bathroom!
I can only imagine what the ladies room looked like!

Parting shot - it's the fries with the eggs again.
Whoever came up with this one is a bloody legend!


  1. Um... that is the most decadent set of food photos I've ever seen. Amazing!

  2. So what are the average cholesterol numbers in Argentina?