Thursday, November 5, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Last night one of my dearest old friends reappeared in my life: Flavor. It is a general consensus with the expats that I have met in Buenos Aires that traditional Argentine cuisine does not exactly excite the palette. The Argentine beef aside, finding anything with a strong taste is a definite challenge.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Eating healthy is certainly a luxury. The first page of the Buenos Aires organic and vegetarian restaurant Bio menu explains the benefits of eating foods sans toxins and chemicals, perhaps trying to justify the prices that follow, which for Argentina, are a little steep. Granola North Americans who are used to shelling out for organic produce at co-ops or farmers’ markets may be delighted by these prices, but when I can get a plate of mashed pumpkin for 8 pesos (US$2), I am less pleased to spend 35 pesos (US$9) on curry vegetables.
But for a Saturday afternoon splurge, Bio provides the protein that vegetarians may be missing during the week. The 5 peso (US$1.35) cubierto [table charge] includes thick wheat bread with a pumpkin dipping sauce and a shot of pear juice. Appetizers go for as little as 4 pesos (US$1.08) for the empanada of the day to as much as 28 pesos (US$7.57) for an elaborate starter salad. There are as many salad options for entrees as warm prepared dishes, with the favored grain being quinoa.
My main complaint about Argentine cuisine, besides that it revolves primary around thick slabs of meat, is that it is quite sosa [plain], and this can be extended to some of the food at Bio. My dining partner, who ordered pasta, kept complaining that it was too dry and needed more sauce or flavor. I was warned before ordering my curry dish that it was muy picante [very spicy], but after my brief pepper-garlic sauce phase earlier this year, my meal didn’t even phase my palette. So perhaps I cannot fault the restaurant for this complaint so much as the Argentine culinary tradition in general.
The atmosphere leaves nothing to be desired. On the corner of Humboldt (2199) and Guatemala, the small space in the neighborhood of Palermo is well utilized with a lime green motif on the exterior of the building extending inside to the placemats and seat cushions. The color is reminiscent of the green movement and accurately suggests that the food going into your body is as good for your health as it is for the environment. There are as many foreigners present as porteños [people from Buenos Aires], and this fact is reflected in the menu translated into English.
Although the portions seem small at first glance, like sushi it is deceptively filling. I made my home walking through the Plaza Serrano to see all the chic designers’ crafts and clothes and promptly returned home to take a long siesta, very satisfied that I ha just eaten “nada más ni nada menos que alimenos [no more or no less than simply nourishment].”
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Despite hours and hours I have poured over graduate school applications, it has recently become my dream to open an oatmeal cafe. It would be like a coffee shop but my specialty is oatmeal; people hang out and fill up on a food that my dad has describe as 'sticking to your ribs'. As my future customers use the wifi to delete their clogged inboxes, the oatmeal's heart friendly qualities mirrors this action, letting blood flow freely. But like any great establishment, I need a name that is borderline-NPR-too-clever-for-our-own-good, yet descriptive, yet welcoming.