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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)

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)

Plaza Serrano in Palermo Soho

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Places to stay in Buenos Aires

In 1994, Plaza Serrano was renamed to honor the famous Argentine author Julio Cortázar, but locals will look at you in confusion if you ask for directions to Plaza Cortázar. Everyone still knows the lively, circular heart of Palermo Soho as Serrano.

Red Tree Buenos Aires

Plaza Serrano is one of the hippest spots in the Buenos Aires, especially on weekends when local craftmakers set up shop, selling the kinds of trinkets familiar to anyone who’s ever been to a street market: hemp bracelets, jewelry, bags and the like. We grabbed an outdoor table at one of the many bars, and amused ourselves by contrasting Palermo’s populace to that of San Telmo. Whereas San Telmo definitely has its share of Yanks, everyone at Plaza Serrano was from the States, tourists and “locals” alike. Even the waiters. Even the hippies selling tie-dyed Marley shirts. We might as well have been in Brooklyn.

After getting a couple beers we explored the cool shops around the plaza. We walked into one that was a combination bar/clothing store, with goods splayed across pool tables and each dining booth occupied by a different merchant. You could order a drink, then shop around at your leisure. Every other store was just as fun, and you could happily spend hours aimlessly circling Serrano.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Shopping in Buenos Aires

Plaza Serrano
Buenos Aires Calling
Baby Boomer
Billiar Shop Buenos Aires
vTazz
Weird Store
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April 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm Comments (0)

The Museo Evita

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Evita the Movie

Just around the corner from Palermo’s Botanical Garden, the Evita Museum welcomes visitors with a big, toothy smile. We had been skeptical, but the quality of both the exhibits and the mansion won us over. The Museo Evita is really cool.

Don't Cry for me Argenina

Perhaps my initial skepticism was due to Andrew Lloyd Webber and company. When I think of Evita, the image that springs to mind is Madonna squealing discordantly to “her people” from the Casa Rosada’s balcony. I unconsciously associate Evita with over-the-top histrionics, and just assumed the museum would be as tasteless as the film.

But of course, María Eva Duarte Peron’s story is fascinating and, as one of history’s most important female political figures, she’s well deserving of a museum. The moment we entered the three-story Italian Renaissance mansion, I knew it would be a good experience. Evita purchased the house in 1948 as a part of her Social Aid Foundation, using it as a temporary home for poor women to “shelter those in need and those who have no home… for as long as necessary until work and a home can be found…”

In July 2002, exactly fifty years after Evita’s death, the museum opened to the public, and was an instant success. The exhibits are lovingly presented, and visitors learn about Eva’s life from her humble beginnings in Junín, through her rise to power, and her unfortunately early death. It’s almost entirely propaganda: you’re not going to find anything inside the museum about the darker sides of Juan and Evita’s rule. You can marvel over her fabulous dresses, but the very serious allegations of the couple’s fascist tendencies are politely left to the side.

But whatever. This is a place to remember and appreciate Evita’s positive deeds. You can get a sober analysis of history from books. And if you do happen to have a book with which you’d like to spend some time, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better place to do so than the museum’s cafe. With a gorgeous patio accessible from the street, you don’t even have to pay entrance to enjoy it.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Buenos Aires Hotels

Evita Museum
Evita Dragon
Evita Restaurant
Museum Evita
Evita Silver Face
Eva Peron Fashion
Evita Hat
Evita Dress
Sexy Evita
Evita Kitchen
Evita Garden
Evita Souvenirs
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April 8, 2011 at 6:52 pm Comment (1)

Palermo Hostel: Kapake

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Great Hotel in Buenos Aires: Babel

Hostel Palermo

If the working class vibe of San Telmo isn’t your thing, and you’re looking for a hostel in the more upscale Palermo, check out Kapaké. Found in the relatively quiet neighborhood of Palermo Hollywood, it’s got a great location, near the parks and the subway station. Fitting in perfectly with Palermo, the Kapaké Hostel is fashionable and cool; a comfortable little spot which prides itself on cleanliness and safety.

  • Open 24 hours
  • Laundry Service
  • 24 hours hot water
  • Security Systems and Lockers
  • Free Medical Emergency Service
  • 24/7 Telephone, Fax, PC and Wifi (3Mbs)
  • Heating and Air-conditioning in every room
  • Breakfast

Book your stay here: Kapake Hostel
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
A great hostel in San Telmo

Kapake Hostel
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March 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm Comments (0)

The Carlos Thays Botanical Garden

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Read about Carlos Thays

The most striking aspect of the northern barrios (Retiro, Recoleta, Palermo), especially in comparison with their less affluent southern counterparts, is the number of beautiful parks and green spaces. One of the most remarkable is the Carlos Thays Botanical Garden in Palermo.

Explore Buenos Aires

Found near Plaza Italia, adjacent to the zoo, the Botanical Garden is triangular in shape, and home to more than 5000 species of plants. Entrance is free, and upon stepping foot inside, you start feel all the stress of the city slowly fading away. Cars and trucks zip loudly down the bordering avenues, so it’s not exactly silent, but the garden still imparts a sense of isolation and peace.

The garden is nothing if not diverse. Walking along the paths, you encounter a number of different landscaping schemes, from perfectly symmetrical to untended wild growth. Usually, there are signs which indicate the type of plant you’re looking at, and its country of origin. Long paths lead along fountains lined by statues, and around greenhouses, one of which was shipped over from Paris after 1889 World’s Fair. A healthy population of feral cats roams the grounds, keeping a careful eye on visitors, most of whom are porteños enjoying a short break. When we went, almost every bench was occupied by people drinking mate and reading.

Carlos Thays perhaps did more than anyone else to beautify Buenos Aires. Born in Paris in 1849, he was invited to the city at the age of 40 as an expert landscape artist, and immediately set about improving what he found. Thays was responsible for developing a number of new parks, and redesigning existing ones. In fact, almost every green space in the city has felt his influence, from the Centenario to San Telmo’s Parque Lezama. Thays promoted the planting of trees along city boulevards and demanded more walkways and public plazas. But the Botanical Garden was his pet project, for which he petitioned the city for years.

Buenos Aires is hectic. Even if you’re not going far, getting from one spot to the next can be exhausting. And amid the unceasing horns and the shouting, the smell of trash and never-ending drizzle from overhead air-conditioning units, it can also be enraging. But before you snap and go all Falling Down, grab a book and take a long walk through the Botanical Garden. If that doesn’t calm you down, then fine, you can go shoot people. You have our permission.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Botanic Garden Books

Botanico Buenos Aires
Botanic Garden Buenos Aires
Aloe Vera
Ass Naked Woman Buenos Aires
Blossom Fall
Buenos Aires Mysytery
Buenos Aires Blog
Carlos Thays
Cat Nap
Don't Cry For Me Argentina
Drunk Statue
Father Son Love
Flower Pattern
Forbidden Fruit
Gato Buenos Aires
Green House Buenos Aires
Jungle Argentina
Lady Mc Gee
Nipple Munch
Out Of Control
Plants Argentina
Pussy Paw
See Rosen
Schrooms
Strange Plants
Tropical Flower
Wise Cat
Yerba Mate
Yerba
Hotels Buenos Aires
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March 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm Comments (5)
Punta Brasas - Not Bad in a Pinch!
For 91 Days