Getting My First Taste of Buenos Aires

After 22 hours of travel time, we finally arrived in Buenos Aires!

Our AirBnB host arranged for a car to pick us up at the airport and take us to our new studio apartment in Palermo Hollywood. As he was giving us a little tour of the neighborhood, I quickly realized that we were in the heart of the party district. Every block we went down he was pointing places out…”Bar.” “Disco.” “Disco.” “Bar.” “Bar.” “Bar.” “Another disco.” “Bar.” They are a dime a dozen over here in Palermo Hollywood which makes for some very rowdy nightlife almost any day of the week. And their idea of “nightlife” is quite a bit different than in the US. Clubs [discos] don’t generally open, or at least start to get busy, until about 2 am and the party goes on until the break of dawn around 6 or 7am. How these people rage for so long and then function the next morning is still a mystery to me. I will have to keep you posted on that one. Because they could nap all day, but where do they find time to nap AND work?

Here is what a typical day in Buenos Aires looks like for me:

10:30am – Wake Up

11am – 4pm – Explore the city and find a new lunch spot

5pm – 9pm – Nap time! My favorite part of the day – of course.

11pm – Walk around the streets looking until we find a bar or restaurant that catches our eye. Because restaurants are open so late at night, they are generally very crowded until about 1am. Rather than meeting at a bar with your friends at this time, most people are at restaurants drinking and socializing before the discos.

2am – After dinner, William and I usually share a bottle of wine or beer before heading out to the discos or bars.

2am – 6am – Dance the night away!

REPEAT.

Something to note: Most restaurants will be open from 12pm-4pm for lunch and then reopen from 8pm-1am for dinner. Don’t be that person looking to eat dinner early! Embrace the night owl mentality that Buenos Aires is so clearly devoted to.

Another thing to note: The weather has been perfect so far! October is a lovely time to visit. Our days have been mostly sunny with mild temperatures during the day and cool nights. “Cool” meaning that I don’t need a jacket when heading out for dinner.

Our Studio Apartment that we found on AirBnB and absolutely love!

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View from the apartment
View from the apartment
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We even have our own little balcony to enjoy!

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We are paying roughly $28/night to stay at this place. Palermo is a very nice part of Buenos Aires and I highly recommend it. We are located in Palermo Hollywood where there is nightlife all around. About 15 min via bus, you reach Palermo Soho where this is a ton of good shopping and is more touristy [in my opinion].

I have only been in Buenos Aires for 24 hours and already I have tried two parrillas! A parrilla is a restaurant that specializes in meat dishes, most importantly, steak. Ever since I was a little girl, steak has been my favorite food, hands down. So needless to say, I was pretty stoked to hear that Buenos Aires goes above and beyond to accommodate meat lovers. Vegetarians, you have been warned.

The first parrilla we tried was called Las Cabras. We arrived there at around 10pm and the place was packed. The hostess asked for my name to be put on the waiting list and I reply, “Sonnie.” She informs me that it’ll be a 35 minute wait and jots down my name,”Zani”. Haha how exotic.

Overall, the food was pretty good. William and I both ordered bife de chorizo and asked for it to be medium rare, but unfortunately they overcooked it and it came out medium. A little bit of a disappointment. Aside from that, I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the service was good. The caesar salad was actually my favorite part! Its dressing was delicious. This restaurant is very casual and is on the cheaper side for pricing.

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IMG_20151020_224540642Our second parrilla that we visited was MUCH better than the first. The restaurant was called Brasa Viva and it was much more formal than Las Cabras. I ordered the ojo de bife [ribeye steak] con papas de la crema [potatoes with cream] and William went rogue and got pastel de lomo [unknown at the time of ordering]. My steak was cooked just right and was absolutely delicious! The potatoes were also good – they were smothered in an alfredo like sauce. William’s dish turned out to be some sort of shepherd’s pie – yams, cheese, and ground beef – yuck. He says he liked it, but secretly I saw him eyeing my steak. The highlight of this lunch was the pinguinos! You chose your wine – litre or 1/2 litre – and they would serve it to you in a penguin vase. Being easily amused, I enjoyed this a lot! IMG_20151021_140607999_HDR
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Typical Sonnie meal
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William’s questionable dinner
I'm shocked that America doesn't have this...spreadable cheese seems fitting with all of our other gross processed condiments.
I’m shocked that America doesn’t have this…spreadable cheese seems fitting with all of our other gross processed condiments.

If you are looking to master the art of ordering steak in Buenos Aires, here are some Helpful Tips. 

Parrilla – a restaurant specializing in steak dishes. They are everywhere in Buenos Aires, the key is finding a good one.

Cuts of Steak

  • Asado de Tira – beef short ribs. Very fatty and juicy. Cheaper cut of meat which is a bonus for those on a tight budget. Generally cooked medium.
  • Bife de Chorizo – the equivalence of a sirloin steak. This name confused me at first because when I think of chorizo, I picture spicy ground pork. But this is not the case in Argentina. If cooked medium rare, this cut is very good and full of flavor. Leaner than a rib eye, as expected for a sirloin cut.
  • Ojo de Bife – rib eye steak, my absolute favorite. A little bit pricier of a cut, but worth the extra few bucks in my opinion. I always order it medium rare and stress on the rare because they tend to overcook their steaks. Generally has a lot of marbling and not as lean, but this is where you get a lot of flavor and juiciness in your meat.
  • Lomo – filet mignon, the most expensive cut. Best cooked on the rare side to maximize the flavor and juiciness. This cut is also very lean and generally served in a smaller portion.

How do you like your steak cooked?

Now that you know what kind of cut you want, the next trick is telling the waiter how you want it cooked.

  • Bien Hecho – well done, no redness and thoroughly cooked.
  • A Punto – medium, pink center, still overcooked in my opinion
  • Jugoso – medium rare, warm center. When I order steak, I have to stress the jugoso part because in my opinion, it is not a true medium rare at many places. I like my steak to have a very warm, closer to rare center, so “muy jugoso” generally does the trick in getting the message across.

7 thoughts on “Getting My First Taste of Buenos Aires

  1. Great post! My wife and I have been wanting to visit Buenos Aires, but haven’t had the opportunity. Your blog gave me a glimpse of what to expect when we finally make the trip. I look forward to reading more, so I’ll follow you so I don’t miss anything. Thanks!

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  2. Try to catch the boat across the Plaras to Colonia de Sacramento…great little town. I am really enjoying your blog Sonnue…great travel writing. You have found your calling.

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  3. Sonnie, I went out for steak last night and ordered it “muy jugoso.” The waiter brought me a jug of ouzo with the meat. My accent probably threw him off. I’ll work on it. Enjoy!!

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