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La Morada

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Folklore Songs from Argentina

Serving up cheap eats with quick and friendly service, La Morada is extremely popular with the lunchtime business crowd. Found near the Plaza de Mayo, the restaurant specializes in classic Argentine fare, such as empanadas, locro and tartas.

La Morada

The decoration of the small restaurant is kitsch taken to the nth degree. Glass cases hold hundreds of miniature collectible figures. Posters of old comics and 70s surf records adorn the walls, and a projection TV shows old Hanna-Barbera cartoons. It’s amusing to see suited businessmen, intensely watching a Loopy DeLoop cartoon, while chowing down on empanadas.

Our waiter was friendly, and happy to attend to all our questions. At one point, a poor girl of about 7 years of age entered, trying to sell stickers to customers. Instead of shooing her away, the waiter offered her an empanada, which, to our amazement, she refused. So he handed her a couple pesos instead. Those she snatched away without a word of thanks.

If you’re in the mood for a quick, typically Argentine meal, hunt down La Morada. We really enjoyed it.

Hipólito Yrigoyen 778
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Tel: 4343-3003
Sweet Hostel in Buenos Aires

Kitsch Restaurant
Kitsch Lovers
Esso Restaurant
Buenos Aires Bar
Flaggi River Plate
Caja
Geniol
River Plate
Egg Empanadas
Tarta Zapallito
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May 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm Comments (0)

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)

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)

Abuela Pan – Bread and Healthy Eating, Granny-Style

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Vegetarian Cookbooks

Towards the end of our time in Buenos Aires, with too many great restaurants left to visit, we went on a binge. Parrillas, pizzerías, cafés, morning, noon and night. “Jürgen”, I said during our last meal, pork grease dripping repulsively off my chin. “This is getting disgusting. Tomorrow, let’s heat something healthy.” Abuela Pan, your time had come.

Abuela Pan San Telmo

A tiny restaurant on Calle Bolivar in San Telmo, Abuela Pan serves up wholesome, vegetarian lunches every day. There are just a few tables in the dining room, so it’s recommendable to show up early. In a city filled to the brim with beef and pizza, a healthy meat-free alternative is a breath of fresh air, and unsurprisingly, Abuela Pan fills up quick.

For $26 (US$6.50), you get a choice between three meals which differ daily. Abuela Pan prides itself on cooking without chemicals, trans-fats or frying. Their bread is freshly baked every day and prepared with organic flour. For my main course, I ordered raviolis filled with basil and mozzarella, and Jürgen got a rice-burger. The portions were large, everything was delicious, and we both felt pleasantly full afterwards. And we’d finally done something healthy for ourselves, which clearly justified a few more trips to the parrilla.

Even if you’re not in the mood for a whole meal, stop in for their wonderful fresh breads sold behind the counter. Loaves like theirs are difficult to find in Buenos Aires.

Abuela Pan
Bolivar 707
Tel: 4361-4936
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Gaucho Stories

Bread Pan
Fresh Bread
Pumkin Spread
Veggie Ravioli
Veggie Burger
Man Reading Newspaper
Bistro Buenos Aires
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May 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm Comments (4)

Bodegón El Obrero in La Boca

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Without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable meals we had in Buenos Aires was at El Obrero, a classic bodegón in La Boca.

Boca Fun Song

We went to El Obrero with friends on a warm Friday night, and had a blast from the moment we stepped inside. The place was a madhouse. Every table was full, with kids running between chairs, waiters zipping swiftly past, large Argentine families shouting at each other across long tables stacked with food. We took our seats and opened up the menu. The prices were out of this world, and we felt no compunction about ordering way too much. Calamari, mozzarella sticks, salmon, lomo. Everything was cooked perfectly, and we took our time with the meal, absorbing the atmosphere of the restaurant.

The waiter was friendly and attentive, a guitar player wandered around serenading tables, and there was a general buzz of merriment. We followed the example of the Argentines surrounding us, becoming gradually louder and more exuberant over the course of the evening, drinking wine and stuffing ourselves to the breaking point on the generous portions.

Found in a seedy section of La Boca, El Obrero isn’t the place to go for a fancy, buttoned-down evening with a new girl. But if incredible food and the boisterous atmosphere of a charming porteño bodega sound good, don’t pass it up. El Obrero is one of our very top picks in the city.

El Obrero
Agustín R. Caffarena 64
Location on our Google Map
Tel: 4362-9912
Yummy Dulce de Leche

Classic Restaurant La Boca
Soccer Boca Restaurant
Obrero
Cheese Fest
Salmon Buenos Aires
Bife Lomo
Beef Fight
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May 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm Comments (2)

Te Mataré Ramirez

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We were sitting outside at La Fabrica Del Taco, a popular Palermo joint serving up cheap Tex-Mex style fare, when we noticed something strange about the restaurant next door. It had the appearance of a fancy, exclusive club, with red curtains obscuring the interior, but every couple who approached the door looked anxious and slightly furtive, like kids about to put their hands into a cookie jar. I went to investigate and, after reading the menu, understood the nervously excited behavior of the people going inside. Te Mataré Ramirez is an aphrodisiac restaurant. And its menu is among the best things I’ve ever read.

Warning: if sexually explicit language doesn’t sit well with you, stop reading now

Erotic Restaurant

Here are some of the meals featured on the menu. This is totally serious, I am not nearly clever enough to make this kind of shit up.

You Scream with Ecstasy While You Beg for Penetration
Of Brazing Lips and Inflamed Desires
Childish and of Insolent Vocabulary, She Emanated the Aroma of her Secret Fluids
Your Female Swell Annihilates Me at Night
Savory, You Split Apart like Ripe Fruit
I Tear Out Enjoyment from Your Warm Treasure with My Flaming Tongue
You Indecently Drank the Eruption of My Pleasure
I Covet the Beauties that Her Short and Airy Skirt Suggests
Your Mouth Dances While Kissing and My Tongue Revolts
Playing in the Dark, Playing to be Strangers, to Have “Company”

Waiter, I think we’re ready to order! I’d like to start with a Childish and of Insolent Vocabulary, She Emanated the Aroma of her Secret Fluids. Oh yes, that sounds quite good.

Immediately, I called Jürgen and our friends over, to join in the mirth. While we laughed, another shame-faced couple approached the door… we felt bad for mocking their erotic evening, and quietly returned to our tacos.

Hilarious, and I have to admit that I’m intrigued. Who among our readers has been to Te Mataré Ramirez? Don’t be shy! I need to know what it’s like.

Te Mataré Ramirez
Gorriti 5054
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Tel: 4831-9156

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May 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm Comment (1)

Get Your Burger Fix at The Office

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Perfect Burger Cook Books

I’m not sure why a restaurant would want to call itself The Office: a word with horrendous connotations for most of humanity. When we lived in Valencia, Spain, there were two: The Office and La Oficina. And both were great! Almost as though they were trying extra-hard to prove that offices don’t have to suck. Buenos Aires’ The Office, in Palermo, adheres to that trend.

The Office

The Office is an USA-style bar and grill in the Cañitas section of Palermo, serving up a wide range of burgers, along with staples like chicken wings, cheese fries, ranch dressing, onion rings and nachos. The main draw is an incredible terrace, perfect for mild evenings, where there’s a big screen showing classic films every week.

We were invited by the owner to try out the burgers: finally, a big, hearty, US-style burger in Buenos Aires. I must have been unconsciously jonesing for a taste of home, because I devoured my burger in no time flat. Not even sure I bothered to chew. I went with la clásica, while Jürgen had a BBQ Bacon burger that was insanely topped with onion rings. As an appetizer, we ordered a generous portion of chunky guacamole. I had no room for dessert, but the brownies looked so delicious. Just as Bruce Banner unwillingly becomes the Hulk when angry, when mild-mannered, fitness-conscious Mike Powell sees a brownie like that, he transforms into something unholy. With a furious grunt of angered impatience, I ordered the brownie and mampfed it down in one terrifying gulp.

As you might expect, The Office is popular with US expats, but it’s also well-represented by porteños especially during movie nights. If you’re in Palermo and find yourself in need of a burger-fix, check it out.

The Office
Arevalo 3031
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
2050 3942

Quesadilla
Fat Burger
Brownie
Feast is Over
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April 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm Comments (2)

Las Pizarras – Go to the Head of the Class!

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Pasta Recipes

When I consider the word chalkboard, my head instantly seizes up with all sorts of negative connotations. My brain thinks “school”, my nose remembers the stale stench of erasers being pounded together, and my ears… the unbearable screech of a bad piece of chalk scraping uselessly against the slate. Awful.

Las Pizzaras

Pizarra is Spanish for “chalkboard”, so when I discovered that we were on our way to meet friends at Las Pizarras, I went into a semi-catatonic shock. NO|FORK|CHALKBOARD|NO|FORK|NO But there was no reason to fear; the restaurant provided one of the most pleasant dining experiences we’ve had in Buenos Aires.

From the moment you ring the doorbell, and the door is opened, Pizarras is all about charm. The dining area is small and the menus are found on the huge chalkboards which cover the walls. The wine card was right above us, desserts behind us to the left, and entrées across the way. It was a novel way to present the menu, and blended seamlessly into the thoughtful, tasteful decor of the restaurant.

The food was delicious. I stuck to seafood, with an appetizer of razor clams (navajas) and a main course of shrimp risotto. Juergen went with pumpkin soup and steak, and the girls we were with had pasta dishes. In the end, we all ended up sharing off each other’s plates; it’s really a mark of a great restaurant that I couldn’t say which of our meals was the best. All of us left full and happy.

The prices weren’t even bad, especially for a chic restaurant in the middle of Palermo. Make reservations, and head over to Las Pizarras. You won’t be sorry. And if you even think about being “that guy”, who thinks it’s funny to stand up on his chair and drag a fork against one of the chalkboards, know this: I will hunt you down. And I will find you.

Las Pizarras
Thames 2296
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
All the restaurants we visited in Buenos Aires

Pizzaras Menu
Pizarras Palermo
Pizarras Restaurant
Pumkin Soup
Navajas
Risotto
Entaña Bife
Fresh Pasta
Fresh Ravioli
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April 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm Comments (2)

Las Cuartetas – Pizza in the Theater District

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We’ve already written about El Cuartito, one of the very first pizza joints we discovered in Buenos Aires. Las Cuartetas is similar in food, name and decor. But it’s larger and, especially on a weekend night as the theaters of Calle Corrientes are emptying, much more boisterous.

Animated Pizza

We took friends from Germany on the same Thursday night that Plácido Domingo put on a free concert at the nearby obelisk. The restaurant was full when we arrived and, after the concert ended, the insanity in Las Cuartetas ascended to a level I could scarcely believe. Unceasing rivers of people flowed through the doors, passing by our table, headed towards the back in search of seating. I don’t know where any of them ended up; the restaurant was already packed to capacity when the flood started. The only explanation we could imagine was that they were exiting again through a door in the back, in an elaborate game to punk us. The line of people just kept filing past, like midget clowns piling into a car, and I swear I saw a few faces twice.

The pizza was incredible. Deep-dish, cheesy, greasy; everything we’ve come to expect of Buenos Aires’ best pizzerias. But really, the food took a back-seat to the atmosphere inside Las Cuartetas. Every seat was taken, and people shared tables with total strangers. Old deaf couples munching down fugazzas next to lip-pierced alterno-kids drinking Fanta, everyone screaming to be heard. Most of the screaming was directed at the waiter. The dapper old gentleman had to deal with about 40 tables in our section, and did so with the utmost professionalism.

We had a blast at Las Cuartetas, and can definitely recommend a visit, especially when it gets crowded. If the idea of cheesy, unhealthy pizza in a raucous madhouse full of shouting Argentines sounds like a good time, you won’t be disappointed.

Las Cuartetas
Corrientes, Av. 838
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Books on Bar Notables

Pizza Zombies
Pizza Waiter
Buenos Aires Beer
Pizza in the Theaters
Hot Dad
Pizza Morron
Best Dulce de Leche
Serving Pizza
Pizza Stud
Pizza Pies
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April 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm Comments (5)

Bellagamba – Rustic Eating in Caballito

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Buenos Aires is the kind of city with hidden treasures on every street. We were walking down Calle Gaona in Caballito, both of us grumpy with hunger, when we happened to pass by Bellagamba. Stepping inside, we discovered one of the coolest bodegas we’ve yet seen in the city.

Bodega Argentina

Hundreds of old photographs line the walls, along with bookshelves and ancient paintings. The interior was huge, and filled with dining booths and tables. In the back, a small terrace allowed for open air munching. A craftsman was occupying one of the terrace tables, refurbishing an old suitcase. But we hardly blinked: Bellagamba feels like the kind of place where there might be craftsmen around while you eat, refurbishing old suitcases.

The food is extremely casero: simple, cheap, and no-frills. We picked a couple plates from the ready-to-serve buffet, though you can also order things from the kitchen like milanesas and hamburgers. While we filled our bellies, and soaked in the atmosphere of the atmospheric bodega, our mutual grumpiness vanished. If you’re in the area, don’t hesitate to go in, even if just to have a look around.

Bellagamba
Gaona, Av. 1327
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Read about Wines from Argentina

Bodega Buenos Aires
Mega Bodega
Bodega
Cut Meat
Fast Food Buenos Aires
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April 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm Comments (0)

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