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Kentucky Pizza

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Pizza Stones – Do you really need them?

It took us awhile, but we finally made it to Kentucky Pizza, one of the most famous pizzerias in the city. People seem to either love or hate this place. One acquaintance told us it was absolutely the worst pizza around. Meh, we don’t agree. But the main reason I wanted to go had nothing to do with pizza. My parents live in Kentucky, and I thought it would be funny to get a picture for them.

Kentucky Pizzeria

Kentucky is known for a lot of things: bluegrass music, horse racing, whiskey, tobacco fields. But pizza is not among them. I’m not sure why the founders chose the name “Kentucky” for their restaurant. Possibly, they hailed from the States, or it could have been an attempt to evoke the idea of the USA. Back in 1946 when Kentucky Pizza was established, the US was still the really cool country everyone else wanted to be!

Their logo is a racehorse, but it should be a fat man clutching his heart. Kentucky serves up classic Argentine pizza at its greasiest, cheesiest best. We ordered a fugazza and spinach pizzas, and left happy and full. Kentucky is famous for being open all night long, and is a favorite spot for hungry party kids looking for cheap drunk-food at 4am. But at any hour, if you’re looking for a good porteño-style pizza that’s easy on the wallet, don’t hesitate to go in.

Kentucky Pizza
Santa Fe, Av. 4602
The Art of Making Pizza

Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Tel: 4773-7869

Pizza Menu
Pizza Oven
Pizzeria Buenos Aires
Free Pizza
Kentucky Buenos Aires
Kentucky Pizza
Horse Whiskey
Kentucky Buenos Aires
Pizza Boys
Pizza Addiction
Pizza Buenos Aires
Fugazzetta
Classic Pizzeria
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May 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm Comment (1)

La Poesía – A Great Place to Read, Drink and Relax

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Classic: Read some Borges at La Poesía

With its shelves stacked with books, soda bottles and photographs from years past, La Poesía is a bar beautiful enough to truly deserve its name.

La Poesia

The café was originally opened in 1982, to celebrate the end of the military dictatorship and provide a place for Buenos Aires’ intellectuals, authors and poets to congregate and discuss their renascent democracy. It was immediately popular, especially known for its sessions of Poesía Lunfarda, but the bar was closed after just six years. In 2008, the same couple who own Bar Federal restored the Poseía to life and helped reestablish it as a staple of the San Telmo scene.

I was in the place all the time, usually with a book. It has an atmosphere conducive to reading, with tango music playing softly in the background and a good selection of drinks. Unfortunately, the wait staff isn’t always the friendliest. One girl in particular always greeted my arrival with a frown and an attitude; I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I’d done to her. And once, a waitress directed me to a table with a power outlet, watched me set up my computer, provided me with the Wifi code, then took my order. The internet didn’t work and when I pointed that out, she was like, “Yeah. It’s been out all day”. But, couldn’t you tell I wanted to use it? I even asked you for the access key! “Yeah. Well, you never asked me if the internet worked“.

Regardless of the occasionally brusque service, there’s plenty to enjoy at La Poesía. Leave your computer at home, and take a book. A book of poetry, if you must.

La Poesía
Chile 502
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Coffee Culture

Bar Notable
Books Poesia
Cans
Cooking Cook
Facturas Buenos Aires
Salami Buenos Aires
Side Eye
Malinesa Sandwich Poesia
Cafe Con Leche
Hotels San Telmo
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May 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm Comments (2)

Punta Brasas – Not Bad in a Pinch!

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Grilling the Argentine Way

It was a Sunday afternoon, and we were stomping angrily around Palermo Hollywood looking for a place to eat. The restaurant we had wanted to go to was closed, and we had no backup plan. One of the bad things about eating in Buenos Aires is that restaurants have irregular schedules… Mondays, Sunday afternoons, Tuesday nights, closed. Advance research is always a smart idea. But one of the good things is that there’s usually another great option around the corner, regardless of where you are.

White Wine

Before we even got two blocks away, we encountered Punta Brasas on Bonpland and Honduras. We grabbed a spot on the upstairs terrace, and sat down for an excellent meal. I had a Caeser salad, and Jürgen ate stuffed chicken. The service was good — our waitress was there when we needed her, but stayed out of our way generally — and the prices were fair. Sitting in the sun with a bottle of white wine cooling in a bucket, and great food in front of us, it was difficult to be anything but happy.

But we almost didn’t go! It was a typically porteño scene: as we were approaching Punta Brasas, the door girl approached us on the sidewalk. “Looking food? Come in! So nice!” This is such a turn off. Even though we had planned on going there anyway, we almost turned around out of principle. Why do so many restaurants around the city employ this pushy tactic? Does anyone actually ever say “okay”? If anything, I have to believe that it drives business away.

Puntas Brasas
Bonpland 1694
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Tel: 4776-2784
The Perfect Steak

Mozzarella Stick
Pinch
Liquid Cheese
Meat Roll
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May 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm Comments (0)

The Unbeatable Ice Cream of Buenos Aires

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Make Ice Cream At Home

From across the Atlantic, Argentina sounds out the challenge to its frumpy ancestor Italy. “Hey, you think you got good pizza? How you like these fugazzas? Oh, you’re proud of your famous Italian ice cream? LOL! Nobody but nobody beats Buenos Aires for ice cream! Student becomes the master, punk!”

Ice Cream Dulce De Leche

Until we spend 91 days in Italy, I won’t dare render a verdict in this competition, but Buenos Aires makes a strong case for itself. The pizza here, as we’ve said more than a few times, is amazing. And the ice cream… well, it might even be better.

Helado shops dot nearly every corner of the city, and porteños are rightfully proud of how good their ice cream is. Regardless of how full we’ve just stuffed ourselves at dinner, a pit stop for ice cream always seems like a good idea. The most typically Argentine flavor is Dulce de Leche. Creamy and almost sickeningly sweet, every shop offers it, as well as variations on the theme. Dulce de Leche with Brownies. Super Dulce de Leche. Dulce de Leche Fantástico.

That’s not all there is to choose from. The selection of flavors at most shops is overwhelming, and I always try and sample something new. Around ten pesos will get you the smallest cone, but don’t be fooled by its tiny size: the amount they’re able to pack into it is remarkable. Generally, people get two compatible flavors in one cone… Dulce de Leche and Crema Rusa, Lemon and Raspberry. Most ice cream shops even have delivery services, which is both hilarious and awesome.

For my taste, Argentina basically wins the World Food Competition. Other countries may have fancier fare, but the staples of Argentine cuisine are: pizza, ice cream, steaks, coffee and wine. That’s just tough to beat. It’s kind of unfair.

What is Dulce de Leche?

Ice Cream Buenos Aires
Yummy Ice Cream
Ice Cream
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May 2, 2011 at 9:48 pm Comments (4)

The Parrillas of Puerto Madero

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The Perfect Steak

Puerto Madero isn’t all glitzy high-rises and polished SUVs. On the slow, wide avenue that runs parallel to the Reserva Ecológica, gather what must be the city’s largest collection of parrillas.

Bondiola

At lunchtime, an endless lineup of food carts grill sandwiches for the hungry workers from nearby offices. They all offer the same things, and it’s hard to see much difference between the carts, but some enjoy long lines while others are disquietingly empty.

After a walk through the Reserva, we sat down at one of the more popular parrillas and ordered bondiolas: grilled sandwiches complete with egg and cheese. Cheap, huge and delicious. When you’re in the park, trying to enjoy nature, the stinky grill smoke isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world, but it does make you hungry.

Locations of the Parillas from here to here
Parillas of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Smell
Carrito Parilla
High Tec Parilla
Outside Dining
Bondiola Parilla
Chorizo Buenos Aires
Parilla Salsa
Open Bondiola
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April 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm Comment (1)

The Feria de Mataderos

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Gaucho Stories

The barrio of Mataderos, former home to Buenos Aires’ slaughterhouses, has always been tightly linked to gaucho culture and the meat industry. In fact, the neighborhood is also known as “Nueva Chicago”: a nickname the local football team still plays under.

Not Fake

Though the days of gauchos leading herds of cows into Mataderos for the slaughter have long passed, the neighborhood still strongly identifies itself with gaucho culture. The connection is never more evident than on Sunday, during the Feria de Mataderos, a wonderful celebration complete with music, food, trick riding and stands selling everything that can possibly be made from a cow.

The barrio is far outside the normal tourist haunts of Buenos Aires, but if you have a free Sunday, it’s absolutely worth the effort. In fact, it’s one of the best things we did during our months here. Stepping off the 126 bus, shopping was our first order of business. There was so much to browse through, from knives and matecitos to leather vests and wine flasks made of cow hooves. With friendly vendors and incredible prices, it was a blast to browse around; I bought a leather belt with “Argentina” stitched into the loop for $40 (US$10).

Our shopping was interrupted by the beginning of a dance concert. A group of young gauchos and chinas got onto the stage and proceeded to tear the place up. They were from a nearby town, and in a very flamboyant performance, demonstrated that gaucho culture isn’t all machismo and mate. I never thought I’d find myself enthusiastically clapping for a group of dancing cowboys, but there you are.

The food was great, too, though getting any required herculean patience. While Jürgen hunted for a place to sit, I waited in line for nearly an hour, to order empanadas, tamales and sweet red wine. Arms precariously full of food, I stepped through the crowd searching for Jürgen, finding him at a table with an Argentine family, with his mouth full. They were forcing him to try their locro, a corn-based stew, and regaling him with stories of the different Argentine cities he simply had to visit. I joined in the conversation, and we enjoyed one of the most entertaining meals we’ve had in Buenos Aires.

After eating, we said adiós to our new friends and went to watch the horse riding competition. Gauchos propelled their horses at breakneck speed down the street and attempted to spear a ring with a stick. I mean, a regular ring meant for a finger. A nearly impossible task, and the few competitors who succeeded happily soaked up the crowd’s appreciation.

Overall, the Feria de Mataderos met our expectations, and then some. Check out the video and pictures, and if you have the opportunity, don’t skip out on this fair. Tons of fun.

Feria de Mataderos
Location of the Fair on our Buenos Aires Map

Proud Gaucho
Tiny Gaucho
Gaucha
Gaucho Belt
Crafts Belts
Horn
Silver Horse
Wild Gaucho
Sweet Lady
Mean Gaucho
Gaucho Culture
Gaucho Dance
Spectacle
BBQ Heaven
Asado
Gaucho Sausage
Smoked Meat
Booty Knife
City Gauchos
For Sale
Gaucho Price
Corked
Hoof Work
Gaucho Kids
Gaucho Gear
Gaucho Fest
Super Gaucho
Lama Drama
Gaucho
Bar Oviedo
Cool Dude
Caja
Cool Gang
Eistruhe
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April 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm Comments (3)

Dulce de Leche

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Get your Dulce de Leche fix here

Take a jar of sweetened milk and add sugar. Then slowly heat it over the course of a couple hours, stirring almost constantly. Your hard work will be rewarded with a portion of dulce de leche, a thick caramel-colored substance wildly popular in Argentina.

Dulce the Leche

Good luck trying to find peanut butter on the shelves of an Argentine supermarket, but even the most useless market is stacked with rows and rows of dulce de leche. People spread it on bread, put it in between cookies to make alfajores, work it into ice cream, and even consume it by the spoonful, straight from the jar.

It tastes … sweet. That’s a really uncreative description, I know, but there’s no better way to describe dulce de leche. It’s the essence of sweetness, condensed to its most pure form. It’s the sweetness world’s gold standard. Cut a little girl, and neither sugar nor spice, but thick dulce de leche will drip slowly from her open wound.

Argentina lays claim to the invention of dulce de leche, but so does every other Latin American country; it’s popular all over the continent. Personally, I can stomach about one bite of the stuff, but if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll find a gooey lifelong friend in dulce de leche.

Wine Tasting in Buenos Aires

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April 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm Comments (4)

Bakano – Our Pizza Addiction Threatens to Destroy Us

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Make your own Pizza

During a recent excursion into Palermo Hollywood, I began to feel faint. Taking a seat on the curb, I went through a mental checklist; I’d had plenty of water, a hearty breakfast and a good night of sleep. But something was off… and suddenly I realized. I hadn’t eaten pizza in nearly 4 hours.

“Jürgen… ” I stammered, barely clinging to consciousness, “help me… find…”

Pizza Hollywood

When I came to, I was seated in front of a plate of empanadas and a big, cheesy pizza. Reflexively, I shoved a slice into my mouth, and soon felt strength flood back into my veins. “You’ve saved me yet again, old chum. But say. Where are we?”

Where we were was on the balcony of a popular pizza restaurant called Bakano. “Bakano” is Colombian slang for cool and, from our perch overlooking Palermo Hollywood, we found the restaurant very bakano, indeed. Like most spots in Palermo, this pizzería is relatively new; it only opened in 2006, but it seems to have caught on, especially with the lunchtime business crowd. A television station’s headquarters are nearby, and we were told that it’s not uncommon to see famous people grubbing here.

The pizza and empanadas were good, but we enjoyed the balcony view the most. That, and the odd choice of soundtrack… the Star Wars theme was blasting from inside the restaurant. If you’re in Palermo Hollywood and suddenly find yourself in desperate need of pizza, definitely check out Bakano.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Buenos Aires Guide

Bakano
Terrace Palermo Hollywood
Pizza Oven
Empanada Festival
Humitas Empanadas
Pizza Palermo
Pizza Delivery
Hotels Palermo Hollywood
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April 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm Comments (5)

Sample the Wines of Argentina with Anuva

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As anyone versed in such matters already knows, Argentine wine has been gaining in respect and influence over the past decade. Jürgen and I definitively aren’t versed in such matters, so we’ve had some learning to do.

Anuva Wine Tasting

Basically my knowledge of wine is: I’m aware it’s produced from grapes. So when we heard about Anuva, a wine tasting service in Palermo Hollywood, we thought a bit of education might be in order. For US$46 per person, Anuva offers a quick, personable tour through some of Argentina’s best grapes, in an evening that includes great food and conversation.

We showed up for the tasting right on time, hosted in one of Palermo’s many gorgeous hotels — the Rendez-vous. After introductions with the other guests, our sommelier wasted no time in popping open the first bottle. We tried five wines over the course of about 90 minutes, each presented with an accompanying plate of food. And the wines were all incredible. Anuva represents only small, artisan bodegas, and each bottle had an fun story behind it, such as the sparkling “Hom”, made (and named) by a crafter who’s into meditation.

The fact that we were beginners in the world of wine tasting didn’t matter in the end. We were given a quick crash course in what to look for, by our sommelier (you’ll have noticed, I just learned that word… so I’m going to give it a workout). From the bouquet to the richness of the color, our sommelier pointed out each wine’s distinct elements, making the whole experience easy and fun. I’d never before heard of Bonarda, a black grape originally from Italy and almost unheard of outside of Argentina. I loved its heaviness, deep color and barely perceptible fruitiness… Look at that: I’m already talking like someone who knows what they’re talking about! Our sommelier would be so proud. Sommelier.

As a compliment to the tasting, Anuva also offers a shipping service so that you can have some bottles delivered hassle-free to your home. The wineries have exclusive export contracts with Anuva, so these wines are otherwise impossible to find in the states.

The early-evening tasting makes a great beginning to the night Palermo. If you’ve got any interest at all in the wines of Argentina, definitely check it out.

Book your wine tasting here!!
Check out their Online Wine Store

Wine Tasting Argentina
Wine Tasting
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April 8, 2011 at 11:25 pm Comments (9)

El Querandí: Dinner and a Primer to the History of Tango

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Great Hostels in Buenos Aires

There are a few ways to experience tango while in Buenos Aires. Milongas are probably the most popular option, where people of all skill levels join in the dancing. And there are recitals with excellent music, usually no dancing, but possibly the most authentic. Or, you can choose the full-on tourist experience of the dinner show.

Sexy Tango

We arrived at El Querandí at 9:30, and were promptly served dinner: salads, empanadas, steak and wine. While eating and awaiting the show, we met our table companions. Everyone in the restaurant was a foreigner; German, American, French, Japanese. That would usually be a turn-off, but not tonight. The crowd was happy and energetic, and besdies, you wouldn’t go to El Querandí if you wanted to be surrounded by locals. The show is an overview of tango’s history! Hardly a lesson most Argentinians would need.

Once the lights went up, idle chatter with our new friends immediately stopped: our attention was entirely captured by the show. Two hours of top-notch dancing and singing, with incredible music performed by an odd quartet consisting of a piano, violin, bass and accordion. Some of our favorite moments in the show were actually just the band playing by itself.

The initial acts were set in the outskirts of Buenos Aires in the late 1800s, when roughly-dressed workers and the immigrant women who worked in brothels were inventing a new art form. The way it turns out… and I had really suspected as much… and perhaps especially when it’s performed by young, skilled and beautiful people… and, yes, perhaps especially when they are dressed as rough-n-tumble dock workers and prostitutes… well, the tango can be … let’s just call it “passionate”.

There was singing as well, with a tribute to Carlos Gardel who popularized tango both at home and around the world. As the show moved into modernity, when tango found acceptance among all walks of Argentine society, the sets became more professional and the dress more genteel. The grace and timing of the dancers was amazing, and there were a number of beautiful moments. The dancers struck a lot of classic poses, which was well-appreciated since photography was permitted during the show.

Fine, it’s not the most authentic way to experience tango in the city, but El Querandí provides a wonderful evening of food and music. And anyway, “most authentic” doesn’t necessarily mean “most enjoyable”. We were amazed at how well-staged the show was, and how much fun we had. If you’re looking for an entertaining evening out, and a solid tango show, you won’t be disappointed in El Querandí.

El Querandí’s Website
Peru 302
Tel: 11 5199 1770 (Reservations Necessary)
Location on our BsAs Map
Travel Insurance

Tango Cena
Tango Salad
Tango Steak
Tango Singer
Music Buenos Aires
Tango
Tango Argentina
Tango Dance
Tango Classes
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March 10, 2011 at 12:50 am Comments (3)

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Kentucky Pizza
For 91 Days