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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
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April 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm Comments (5)

A Sneaky Exploration of the Teatro San Martín

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On Avenida Corrientes, one of Argentina’s most important theaters hides behind an inauspicious 1960s glass facade. If you weren’t looking for it, you’d probably walk past by the Teatro San Martín without giving it a second glance.

Vida Sueño

But an enormous artistic complex lurks inside. The Teatro San Martín comprises three stages, a cultural center with art exhibits and workshops, a small cinema and a gorgeous salon. A huge variety of performances takes place every week, from theater and dance, to concerts, movies and children’s activities. When we visited, the hallways were being used for a photo exhibit called “24 Hours in Buenos Aires”. The lobby contains both a bookstore and a café. In short, there’s art everywhere.

After finishing up with the photo exhibit, we continued up a flight of stairs to a large salon outfitted with retro furniture. There weren’t any signs saying we couldn’t go up there, but we felt like intruders, since the room was devoid of any other life. No visitors, no guards, no signs of any sort. We lounged on the plush couches for a bit, just because they were there, then took our intrusion game up a notch. The closed door down the hallway wasn’t locked, and after opening it, we found ourselves alone in the gorgeous Sala Martín Coronado, the largest of the Teatro’s three stages.

Last night, we returned to the Sala under more appropriate circumstances: to watch La Vida Es Sueño, by Pedro Calderon De La Barca, one of the most important works of Spanish-language theater. It was an incredible show, and our attention was held rapt throughout, despite understanding approximately 6% of the verse. Murder, attempted rape, deception, naked old kings and a lot of shouting in rhyme. At just $50 (US$12), it was a great bargain for an entertaining night.

Teatro San Martín
Corrientes 1530
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March 12, 2011 at 11:55 pm Comment (1)
Las Cuartetas - Pizza in the Theater District
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