Thursday, April 22, 2010

Urban Eats @ Argentinian BBQ, Buenos Aires

Hooray!  Today we have a guest post by blogger, Ingrid Menninga from Cashmere Clutch from her recent trip to Buenos Aires.

A part of living the life of your dreams means going after what you want, like a life filled with travelling!  Over at Cashmere Clutch we’re all about getting what you want out of life, so when the chance to go to Argentina and the opportunity do a restaurant review for The Hip & Urban Girl's Guide came up we couldn’t resist!

Argentina is famous for beef…lots and lots of beef!  So what better way to test out this beef then go to a well known barbecue restaurant and test out the local flavours.  We chose to dine at La Cabana – it’s is in the posh area of Recoletta and offers up the traditional Argentinean barbecue experience in a beautiful environment. 

The décor is traditional, nice and open, unlike many of the smaller and more intimate restaurants that tend to be more crowded.  It’s also kind of funny – when you enter the restaurant you are greeted by two full size stuffed cows!  It’s a great way to remember the place, and in case you want to visit you’ll know you are in the right place when you see the stuffed cows!

When it came time to order we were greeted with sooo many options on the menu. Of course it’s fun to try some local delicacies when travelling abroad, which in this case included intestines (chinchulines in Spanish) and brain (molleja in Spanish). When the plates arrived they didn’t look delicious, but when in Rome…… 

But, as it turns out sometimes what looks bad, also tastes bad.  So after one small bite of was time to move onto the more typical cuisine, like steak.

We ordered steak (entrana in Spanish), pork (matambre de cerdo) and beef ribs (tira de asado). The variety of meats are all brought out together and served with chimichurri – a mix of herbs and garlic with olive oil which is common to eat with meats, and salsa criolla – a spicy mix of onions, red peppers, green peppers and tomatoes with olive oil.  Each person at the table typically shares the large platter of meat, and seasons it to their liking on their plate. The pork was excellent as was the steak, and the chimichurri and salsa criolla were a great way to mix up the flavours and lighten up the heavy meat tastes.

After the big meat party it is common to have a light salad of arugula with parmesan or a lettuce and tomato salad. A word to vegetarians: Argentinians are famous for being big meat-eaters, with some people estimating the average Argentine eats 100 kg of beef a year!  While they love their meat, they seem somewhat indifferent to vegetables.  You can find them, but the main items on the menu are always big beef!

Of course after the main dinner everyone enjoys a coffee, mostly espresso, and then some fruit tarts or crepes with dulce de leche - a caramel sauce made with milk instead of butter. It’s excellent and the homemade varieties are outstanding!  

In Argentina, dinner is the main meal, so prepare to starve all day and eat a large, late meal when you are here. It’s pretty normal to eat a few pieces of fruit during the day, and have a few cups of coffee, and only have one huge dinner at the end of the day.  If you're thinking of a trip to Buenos Aires, do not miss the chance to try an authentic Argentinian BBQ.

So The Hip & Urban Girl asks....have you been to Buenos Aires?  What travel tips do you have?  Where is the best steak you have ever eaten?  Comments always welcome!

La Cabana Restaurant
Buenos Aires, Argentina


  1. Buenos Aires is probably the most exciting urban destinations of Latin America. Friendly, beautiful, fashionable, with plenty of parks, architecture, culture and as your report said, the gastronomy offer is amazing!!!. Don't waste your time watching your weight, do it after you are back home. If you want know more about what to do to discover this amazing city, here is an article that can help: Top ten places to visit in BsAs

  2. Near my Buenos Aires apartments I ate a typical Argentine "asado" which was really great!!!