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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)

Puerto Madero

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The Architecture of Calatrava

Buenos Aires’ trendiest residential neighborhood is probably its most bizarre. Even though it’s physically close to the historic center, Puerto Madero almost feels like a completely different city.

Puerto Madero

The narrow port for which the neighborhood is named opened in 1882 to help serve Buenos Aires’ shipping businesses. But it was in use for only sixteen years. Before construction even completed, Puerto Madero had been rendered obsolete by the sheer size of the newer, larger barges. For most of the 20th century, the warehouses sat unused and the area around Puerto Madero was abandoned to urban rot.

But that’s changed. About ten years ago, a concentrated effort was made to modernize and clean up one of the city’s best-located and most-neglected neighborhoods. With its location along the Rio de Plata, and the ecological reserve of the Costanera Sur, it’s amazing that Buenos Aires took so long to make proper use of Puerto Madero. Wealthy porteños, both young professionals and retirees, have moved there en masse, and property values have shot through the roof. To accommodate the new residents, a number of restaurants have opened up along the old port, which itself has become a place of touristic interest.

We’re in Puerto Madero constantly, usually for jogging, but also taking advantage of the cheap and modern Cinemark theater. There’s still a lot of room for improvement in Puerto Madero — the newness of the buildings and shops is too apparent, and the large, expensive restaurants are almost always empty. A stroll through the neighborhood can be a surreal experience; where the nearby streets of Monserrat are noisy, dirty and gloriously alive, Puerto Madero is clean, quiet and desolate.

Still, walking along the old port as the sun behind the city, its rays reflecting off the water and giant glass buildings, is one of the more pleasant ways to spend an evening in Buenos Aires. We’ve gone to bars along the port for happy hour, and perhaps there are some treasures hidden in Puerto Madero that we haven’t discovered… does anyone have a suggestion?

Calatrava Buenos Aires Mujer
Shady Lovers
Rowing Buenos Aires
New Buenos Aires
El Mirage
Night Building
Boat Buenos Aires
Puente Mujer
Art Buenos Aires
Crane Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires at Night
Calatrava

Calatrava in Oviedo and Valencia

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April 27, 2011 at 8:43 pm Comment (1)

The Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur

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Cheap Flights to Buenos Aires

A green oasis on the eastern end of the big city, the ecological reserve of the Costanera Sur offers an escape from the humdrum of daily life. Walking along of the reserve’s paths, through wild growing pampas grass, it’s difficult to believe that this is still Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires

The Reserva Ecológica feels like an untamed area that’s always been a part of the landscape, but nothing could be further from the truth. This terrain didn’t even exist until the 1970s, when the city decided to “reclaim” land from the river for development, following a procedure learned from the Dutch. The project was abandoned after progress had already begun and, soon enough, plants and animals had moved onto the rich sediment. Where the Rio de la Plata had flowed throughout history, humanity had inadvertently built a home for a richly diverse wildlife. Usually works the other way around.

The city wasted no time in declaring the region an “Ecological Reserve”, and the new park quickly became popular among bird watchers, joggers, and those looking for a break from the stress of Buenos Aires. At over 860 acres, with many kilometers worth of track, a comprehensive tour of the park can take hours. There’s a lot to see; besides the wildlife, the magnificent skyline of Puerto Madero looms in the background. Walk far enough and you’ll reach the river, vast and gray. But for the cargo ships floating in the distance, it could be the world’s biggest puddle.

We make use of the Reserva constantly for jogging, and almost always encounter something new. On my last visit, a huge monitor lizard scuttled across the path in front of me. Jürgen has found turtles. We’ve also taken a bike trip through the park, which is recommendable. But regardless of how you move through the Costanera, you’re bound to have an interesting time.

Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur
Northern Entrance on our BA Map
Southern Entrance on our BA Map
La Bicicleta Naranja’s Website
Location of La Bicicleta Naranja

Orange Bike Buenos Aires
Butterfly
Contrast Buenos Aires
Jogging Buenos Aires
Fly To Buenos Aires
Naked Buenos Aires
Nature Buenos Aires
Nature Fabric
Summer Buenos Aires
Sneaky Bird
Crazy Bird
Dry Field
Sailing Buenos Aires
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April 22, 2011 at 12:18 am Comments (3)
The Parrillas of Puerto Madero
For 91 Days