Buenos Aires, Part 3

31 Dec

Parrillas, or steakhouses, are all over Argentina in order to serve up the nation’s most famous food – beef. From what I am told, all the beef here is grass fed. We went to two parrillas to try out this infamous steak.

I am going to start with the second one first, mainly because it sucked. In San Telmo, we went to a place called La Brigade. We had read about it in some blog and the wait was about an hour for lunch. When we finally got seated in this futbol (soccer) themed restaurant, we were served some rolls and breadsticks (the cracker kind).

We ordered a caprese salad – good. We then ordered our two steaks. Emilio had a pork flank streak – not delicious. I had a flank steak – super chewy. I was confused because the waiter cut it with a spoon but I was hacking through it with my steak knife. We had to request the chimmichuri, and before that – it was pretty bland. We also got a ridiculous amount of meat. The waiter gave no indication that our order could feed a family of six. Some waste occurred here, which makes both our hearts hurt. I learned from my dad that throwing away food is one of the worst things to do.

Overall? Don’t go to La Brigade in San Telmo.

Second place? Don Julio. This is the parrilla we read about all over the place.

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This was place was ridiculously packed. From what I could tell, it was mainly tourists (probably because they read about it all over the Internet also), but I think there was a mix of some locals. Since the projected wait is about an hour at 9:30 at night (we only waited for about 30 minutes), they pass out champagne to you while you’re waiting. Nice touch.

Once inside, the place is decorated with wine bottles that guests have drank and then left messages on.

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They start the meal with some delicious rolls – warm and soft on the inside, and nice and crunchy on the outside. I generally try to stay away from bread but I definitely ate two. They are served with butter, but they also serve some of the best chimmichuri I’ve ever had and some type of pico de gallo/bruschetta mix for the steak, and I ate my rolls with that also. We also ordered a butternut squash and goat cheese salad with beet vingeratte.

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For the steaks, we ordered half portions (good choice, since this was more than enough). I can’t remember what type of steaks we ordered. I am no steak connoisseur and without menu pictures, I forget. We also had waffle fries. I know, I know – carbs and meat everywhere. But, I swear, in all of South America, there are potatoes and bread with every single meal!

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Overall, I think there are probably better steakhouses in Buenos Aires, but Don Julio was pretty good. We definitely left satisfied here.

Although one final note – when we read about the parrillas, everyone wrote about how you could get a good steak and a good Malbec (or any red wine either, but Argentina is known for their Malbecs) for about $30-40. I guess this was meant for a single person, because we spent about double each time (once for lunch, and once for dinner).

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