Ok so it's been a year (more or less) and here I am, still here. What have we learned? Here is the first in what may well be a series (wow!) of guides to the obvious and the unexpected things that what I've found about Argentina and p'raps more specifically the city of Buenos Aires.

So starting with the obvious: 

"ooh you're going to Argentina, you gonna have some steak?" Yes. It really is quite remarkable the amount of meat that can constitute one barbecue. In fact to call it a 'barbecue' really does not do it justice, conjuring up as it does for me a few burgers and a cremated veggie sausage on a disposable tin tray in a park. Asado is what it's called here and to say there's no comparison would be a massive understatement. From my experience it usually comes in three stages: the first involves meat; usually fat chorizos, blood sausages and sweet meats (whatever that means?); then comes the second stage which is meat; cuts of lamb, small cuts of beef and chicken legs; and finally, when you've just started to ponder your own body mass index and how much of it is now foreign material, arrives the main event: meat; usually a large cut of beef and p'raps a couple of random steaks thrown in for good measure. There is also bread. There is a small salad.

Now just as you (probably) wouldn't have a fry-up or roast dinner every day, same goes with Asado. It's a family and friends on a Sunday afternoon type thing. It is a mark of how seriously this country takes the meal that most homes and apartment blocks come with a large grill built into the terrace area. It's also pretty common to see a bunch of garage workers on a friday afternoon sat round a makeshift grill with what probably amounts to about a third of a cow waiting to be incinerated. 

If you really wanna see the master Asador at work there's this guy, Francis Mallmann...
He basically goes to stunning bits of Argentina and sets up a grill. That is his job. He has the happiest camera crew in the world.

Anyway, basically you can also get the same kind of deal in a restaurant and there's tons of Parillas (Grills, hey look we're learning Spanish as we go!) about the place. They're not all brilliant mind you. It's good to know where the good ones are. This website has a pretty good guide (in Spanish)... 
(we shall no doubt be re-visiting this site in the future.) 

I've had some particularly good steaks in this place (not strictly a Parilla but anyway)...
(note outstanding website soundtrack!)

and if you happen to be in the area why not visit my local...

they also do takeaway! .... or 'steakaway'... !


ok sorry.

There you go; meat. For god's sake don't order a parilla for one unless you have just been rescued from a month lost in the desert or you have large grease proof paper lined pockets.


Leave a Reply.

    This is a blog from a person, who is me, who is living in Buenos Aires but who used to live in England and be English there, but is now being English here.