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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)

Our Introduction to Polo – Argentina vs. England

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Polo Books

The British influence in Buenos Aires is apparent in a lot of ways, from the English architecture of picturesque neighborhoods like Belgrano “R”, to the still-festering political resentment over the Falkands, and in the world of sports. The Brits are the reason that some soccer teams in Buenos Aires have names like “River Plate”, “All Boys” and “Newell’s”, and they’re also to thank for another staple of the Argentine sporting scene: polo.

British Day

We picked up tickets for the Easter weekend Copa de Naciones match at the Palermo Polo Grounds: Argentina vs. England. Putting on our smashing-best clothes (jeans mostly without holes and t-shirts only slightly wrinkled), we went out to hob-nob with the jet-set. Or at least, sit down with a beer and leer silently at the beautiful people.

I had never seen polo before, and was skeptical of its entertainment factor. In my mind, it would be respectable gentlemen wearing top hats and monocles, lightly tapping balls from atop their horses, and saying “Jolly Good” a lot. But it turned out to be a fast-paced and exciting sport. It’s played four-a-side, and the skill of these guys, maneuvering their horses and whacking a little ball backwards while galloping at full speed is nothing short of impressive. There was also a good amount of body-checking, which is even cooler when you consider that they’re horse bodies.

The crowd wasn’t as huge as I expected for a grand-sounding event like the “Cup of Nations”, but still enthusiastic. It helped that Argentina whupped the English, 13-8. Overall, we had a great time, and recommend that you take advantage should you have the chance to check out a match.

Argentine Polo Association
Location of the Polo Field

Polo Horses
Gaucho
Chandon Travel Blog
Rolex Traqvel Blog
Marching for England
Polo Bets
Polo Player
Me and My Jumpy
Crazy Horses
Fast Horse
Polo Sticks

Hotels Buenos Aires

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May 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm Comments (0)

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 International Book Fair

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Books for only 1 Dollar

One of the world’s biggest book fairs takes place in Buenos Aires. We visited the 37th annual Festival Internacional del Libro, which brought together a million readers and 500 publishers from over 50 countries.

International Book Fair Buenos Aires

Hundreds of stands selling books on every conceivable topic fill up the massive Sociedad Rural complex near Plaza Italia. Everything is in Spanish, but you can find any kind of book you’d want. We even found a stand from Bolivia, which would be our next destination, and picked up a couple of novels set there. Every year, the fair draws famous authors for conferences and workshops, and there are daily various concerts, book signings, activities for children, and countless other things to do. Entrance is $20 (US$5) per person, and worth every cent.

For logistical reasons, I’ve made the switch to an e-reader. I’m a fairly voracious reader, and lugging around books while we travel doesn’t make sense. Besides, our grandchildren will look at books the same way we look at vinyl records. Nostalgic and cool, but not the primary way they’ll ingest the printed word. Better to get with the times, I’ve reasoned, and actually, I find reading on a tablet pretty enjoyable. Still, finding myself in a convention hall, surrounded by tens of millions of dead-wood books made me happy. I could have spent all day there.

Feria del Libro’s Official Website
Location of the Sociedad Rural on our Buenos Aires Map
Buenos Aires Books

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May 3, 2011 at 1:48 pm Comments (4)

Basilica Espíritu Santo

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The Cathedral in Oviedo, Spain

Walking through Palermo’s charming Plaza Güemes, on the way to a lunch meeting, we couldn’t help but take a peek inside the imposing Basilica Espíritu Santo.

Sex in the City Girls

Built in 1907 by the immigrant Italian community, the basilica has an austere, grey exterior, absolutely void of ornamentation. The style is Romanesque, with two tall spires that tower over the plaza. The interior is a bit less dour, with decorative elements imported from Europe, such as granite columns from Austria and French stained-glass.

When we decided to go into the basilica, we were already about ten minutes late for our meeting. But the doors were open! And it looked so cool… surely, our appointment could wait a bit longer. We finally showed up nearly twenty minutes late, nervous and apologetic, but we needn’t have worried. The woman we were meeting wasn’t yet there herself. Punctuality in Argentina is a very fluid concept.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map
History of Argentina

Basilica-Espiritu-Santo
Jesus Feet
Iglesia Palermo
Holy Argenina
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April 20, 2011 at 8:49 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)

Las Cholas

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Learn about Parilla

On a Twitter recommendation, we stopped by a parrilla called Las Cholas on a sunny afternoon we were spending in Palermo. During our time in Buenos Aires, we’ve eaten at a lot of restaurants, and can safely say that Las Cholas is among the very best of them.

Fresh Meat

Las Cholas’ location on Calle Arce is perfect. This tiny section of Palermo directly behind the polo field is advantageously separated from large streets and enjoys light traffic. A number of restaurants have set up here, and we joined the hordes of hungry people blanketing the sidewalks. But we were quicker (or more shameless) than the others, and snatched a coveted window table at Las Cholas.

Just reading the menu was mouth-watering, and once we saw the plates being delivered to other tables, we did a double-take at the prices. Huge portions of perfectly grilled meats for very little cash. Las Cholas would be a bargain anywhere, but especially in Palermo, where everything is noticeably more expensive than in San Telmo. We agreed upon provoleta as an appetizer, which is both (a) nothing more a hunk of baked cheese, and (b) exactly as delicious as that sounds. I had grilled quesadillas as my main course, while Jürgen decided upon the lomo, as he almost always will after spying it on a menu.

Thank god for technology like Twitter! Las Cholas has been just one of the great experiences we’ve had thanks to enthused tips from our social networking buddies. As our time in Buenos Aires ticks down, make sure to let us know if there are any other “can’t miss” dining or entertainment experiences!

Las Cholas
Arce 306
Tel: 4899-0094
Location on our Buenos Aires Map

Many more Parillas in Buenos Aires

Restaurante Las Cholas
Cute Restaurant Buenos Aires
Fine Wine
Parilla Buenos Aires
Parillas
Parilla
Las Cholas
Provolone
Cheese
Quesadillas Parilla
Entraña
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April 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm Comments (6)

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)

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