UPDATE: El Nono Amigo’s is now CLOSED but replaced with La Gran Tienda – a great spot for all your cheese, cured meats and sandwiches to-go.
Cured meats, sharp cheeses, fresh bread, pickled vegetables – I must admit, I don’t give this Argentine delicacy the credit it deserves considering picadas are pretty damn awesome, and just might be one of the best things about Argentine food. I have probably walked by Almacén El Nono Amigo hundreds of times, the tiny corner spot with a few tables and chairs outside in Palermo Hollywood, but never gave it a second glance. But it was time to get in the picada-empanada mindset, check it out, and watch as it quickly became a neighborhood favorite.
It was time to venture the few blocks to the corner of Carranza and Guatemala, grab an artesanal ice cold Barba Roja beer, generous glass of cheap red barrel patero wine, or Cynar aperitivo, down some artichoke and eggplant empanadas, and gorge on beautifully presented platters of picadas. El Nono Amigo has teamed up with La Mamma Rosa in Mendoza to create this hybrid of almacén with gourmet products like jarred & canned goods, vinoteca with an array of selected boutique wines, and fiambrería with a deli counter filled with high quality meats and cheeses. And the tortillas – super cheap and super tasty. All of this together makes this neighborhood spot much more than any old place to eat a picada. With great prices and promos, and a high quality selection, it’s hard to come across another picada place that beats this friendly almacén.
The picada para dos can clearly feed four (or in my case could feed one?) and includes a mix of meats, cheeses, pickled vegetable assortment, olives, fresh baked WARM bread and a liter of Quilmes. This picada included queso criollo de campo (farmhouse cheeses) smoked pork tenderloin (lomito), salame and jamón crudo.
El Nono offers a few other types of picadas, and every time comes out a bit different – often including a platter filled with goodness like gruyere, blue cheese, Parmesan cheese, brie, mortadella and longaniza. They also offer picadas de fiambre (just meats) and de quesos (just cheeses).
Each picada is accompanied by a fresh baguette or pan de campo (country bread) that usually comes out all warm and freshly baked. It also comes with an extra picada tablet filled with non-meat/cheese items, generally of the pickled or canned vegetable persuasion. Each time I’ve gone it’s been different, but you can expect some sort of olive (green, black, olives stuffed with cheese, roasted red pepper or even almonds), pickled peppers, baby pearl onions, pickles, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, etc, you get the point. Sometimes I wish they offered a vegetarian picada with just the olives and vegetables. Everything that is served on the tray, is also available inside the almacén for purchase – fiambres, quesos, and jarred vegetables.
If a picada seems a bit much for you lightweights, they also serve great salads and sandwiches, none of which top
AR$30,$40 something that is quite rare in the brunchified, overpriced, payingmorethan60pesosforadumbsandwich of Palermo Hollywood.
Lately it’s been my jam going for an aperitivo: Cynar con soda, Fernet con coca, Campari con naranja, I’m all up on it.
And what would an aperitivo be without a friendly empanada snack accompaniment?
These empanadas have been my latest obsessed. While they offer only a handful of flavors, I can’t get enough of these unique empanada fillings: pickled eggplant and roasted red pepper; sweet yet smokey humita; and my favorite, ARTICHOKE. Eating these empanadas are starting to become a huge problem and almost daily craving. Just look inside that beautiful dough pocket filled with fresh lovely ‘chokes. Who needs a novio when you have these empanadas a few blocks away?
Almacén El Nono Amigo
Guatemala 5800 (esq. Carranza), Palermo Hollywood
Monday – Thursday: 8am – 11.30pm
Friday-Saturday: 8am – 12am
Average price per person: AR$65