Monday, February 16, 2009

Buenos Aires

This weekend, I headed to BA (only a 1-hour bus ride) to spend time with some very special visitors. After dropping my bag off at their hotel, we made our way to Recoleta cemetary for the obligatory visit. This was my 4th trip to the cemetary and I must say that it never gets old. How you may ask can a cemetary be exciting? Well, with the endless rows of untouched mausoleums, you are certain to see something new and decrpyted (a bit of an oxymoron). Plus, the feeling of tranquillity and eerieness continues to fascinate me. I think that my visitors enjoyed it, too.

After, we lunched at a wonderful tea shop with yummy salads and sandwiches and fresh-squeezed juices. A treat after eating meat, pizza and pasta non-stop with my Argentine family. For the afternoon, we took a stroll through the botanical gardens (my ol´stomping grounds) and went to the Evita museum, which was my first visit. The museum was in a beautiful, old building in Palermo Chico, trendy sub-neighborhood of Palermo, but I would give it a mediocre rating. The information seemed superficial considering what an important and controversial figure Evita is in Argentine history.

And then on to helado! A must in Buenos Aires! Luckily, we were in the neighborhood of my all-time fav heladaria, Persicco. It being a hot, sticky, summer Saturday (91 degrees F), there was quite a line of people waiting (but oh, so worth it!). When ordering at a heladaria, first you pick your size and pay and then order your flavor. We chose a medium size that comes in a waffle bowl. What we didn´t realize at the time was that you get UNLIMITED toppings with that size! An ice-cream lover´s dream! So, besides the two scoops (chocolate with almonds and mint chip for me), the server piled on more nuts and chocolate chips (white and black), at my request, of course. Heaven! We savored our delicious ice-cream and followed the experience with some yummy cappuccinos that had chocolate flakes on top and came accompanied by 4 pieces of chocolate brownies with walnuts. By that time, we were stuffed! We headed back to the hotel to rest up for our steak dinner 4 hours later.

For that night, I made a reservation at the best parrilla in the city, La Cabrera. Since other people share my opinion of this restaurant, they only accept reservations at 8:30 pm (absurdly early for Argentina). When we arrived, there was already a line of people waiting outside and the restaurant was packed (maybe this had something to do with that silly holiday, V-day, which isn´t "celebrated" here like in the States). We feasted on chorizo, provelta (grilled provelone cheese), two types of steak (skirt and ribeye) and a wonderful bottle of malbec from Mendoza.

The following day was much more tranquil - a slow, luxurious walk through the market in San Telmo, a long, relaxing lunch and then, of course, helado before I left to get my bus back to La Plata.

Over all, a wonderful weekend with 2 wonderful people! And, what a weekend for a foodie! (Thanks for everything, O&O!)

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