Thursday, September 10, 2009

Food, glorious food!

This morning Lisa and I arrived safe and sound in Argentina.

We also arrived hungry – the continuing tail-spin of service on major airlines resulted in us only having a single, very sub-standard meal during the two flights totaling more than 15 hours from Seattle to D.C. to Buenos Aires.

After our rapid and efficient processing through customs (by a guy who bore a striking resemblance to Antonio Banderas) and a trip into the city by a taxi driver who didn’t even wait for me to close my door before stepping on the gas, we walked a few blocks to the Recoleta district to have a wonderful lunch.

We found a lovely local place called Munich Recoleta – no, not German. A traditional old local place that you’d think wasn’t even open due to the closed white curtains that keep it a secret for the portenos.

OMG – talk about amazing!

We both had brochettes, prepared as an Argentine version of kabob - I chose beef tenderloin and Lisa had the chicken, though we both sampled each.

OMG – talk about amazing!

It was extremely flavorful, though not necessarily spicy – succulent in the way that can only be the result of real meat grilled simply over a flame with a few hunks of green and red peppers, some onion, and a few small chunks of thick-cut bacon.

We enjoyed it with an excellent bottle of malbec, the red wine that has won the Argentine region of Mendoza a spot on the wine maps of the world right alongside Bordeaux, Tuscany, Napa and Walla Walla (more on that later).

The service was exceptional, especially given that the last time I tried to speak Spanish was dozens of years ago as a sophomore at Tulane. I’d managed a C- performance in college and considerably less today, but the end result was a fabulous meal, prepared exactly as we wanted it, along with some smiles from some good-humored waiters who appreciated me trying as best I could.

After some sightseeing and a siesta back at out hotel, we went out for a fashionably late dinner – typical for Buenos Aires, even on a Thursday evening.

We hit the Gran Bar Danzon at about 10:30 – just at the height of the dinner hour at one of BAs most hip lounge/restaurants, where we had a amazing meal of pumpkin ravioli in lamb broth (Lisa) and had a magnificent dinner of pork short ribs with grilled peaches and pastry stuffed with mushroom and brie (Steven).

OMG – talk about amazing!

More to come…

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