A new food trend is storming across Buenos Aires: a modernized version of fast food to-go, offering an unorthodox porteño menu of ethnic-influenced healthy-ish grub. La Cresta might be one of the biggest gangstas in the para llevar gang, specializing in juicy, crispy rotisserie chicken, inventive salads and flavor filled wraps. La Cresta is the kinda place you wish you had in your neighborhood, but would still make the Almagro trek to visit from afar. Most of their dishes and salads are determined by what is in season, they use fresh, high quality produce, flavors inspired from around the globe, all with affordable prices and a mascotting logo of a majestic cock. What’s not to love?One of my restaurant design turn-ons just happens to be healthy looking fruit and vegetables on display, and La Cresta has them front and center: a mountain of ripe avocados, bushels of pee-stanking asparagus, a vase filled with dozens of lemons – all functional and grabbed when needed for cooking. A venture started by an Argie and her Englishman husband, La Cresta sells both the traditional local rotisserie grub (whole chickens, half chickens, bondiola, asado, cuadril on the spiedo) while also offering many creative salads, wraps (with suggested flavor combinations or the make-your-own kind) and nightly dinner specials. Chickens are the star of the show, perfectly roasted, juicy, flavorful. As for salad combinations, think hummus, babaganoush, quinoa tabbouleh, coleslaw, potato salad, roasted red peppers, curried calabaza, that kinda thang. Put it in a wrap, eat it as a salad – it’s rare when a whole display counter looks like something I’d want to eat, overwhelmingly spectacular. Luckily I had a clear vision in the form of quinoa tabule to help me make my decision. Oh, how lovely and refreshing it is to see fast food made with tender love, care, seasonings and lemon juice squirts. A close up of the bad boy before he was wrapped. Creamy and delicious eggplant puré (babaganoush that I also took a small container home), quinoa tabbouleh, a brilliant springtime salad with avocado, asparagus and green apple and all topped with carved crispy skinned roasted chicken.Tightly rolled and ready to be smoked. This is one of the best insides of a wrap I’ve had in a long ass time. Incredibly delicious, this flavor combination is something I’d like to eat every day. The eggplant+tabbouleh+asapargus.greenapple.avocado salad + chicken totally rocked my roll. Prices are super reasonable – under AR$35 for wraps, AR$30 for salads and chicken combos starting at AR$38. Also open for dinner (para llevar) Tuesday thru Saturday, they experiment with platos from all over the world offering dishes like Moroccan lamb tagine, Spanish seafood paella Eastern European borscht and a Thai green curry. The pollos doin’ a little chicken dance.A favorite in the neighborhood, don’t let the small space fool you – this spot PACKS up with lines waiting out the door during both the lunchtime rush and for the dinner specials. This killer Almagro hit hotspot keeps on winning and I wouldn’t be surprise if they quickly expanded opening up more BA locations.
Bulnes 829, Almagro
Tues – Sat: 12:00pm – 3:30pm, 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Average price per person: Lunch AR$20-35, Dinner: AR$55-70