Update: Banco Rojo has changed locations (one block away on Bolivar 866 in a bigger and better way)
Now there’s a new reason to venture out of your barrio bubble to far off San Telmo lands. From the owners of famed San Telmo bar La Puerta Roja, yet another cheap healthy-ish fast food spot has graced Buenos Aires with their delicious presence. A tiny spot on Bolivar with just a few bar stools, El Banco Rojo is all about the under
40 peso greatness of wraps, sandwiches, salads, falafel and the kebab-o-licious lamb döner kebabs.
I’ve been virtually salivating over El Banco Rojo’s menu for a while now. Not your everyday para llevar type of offerings, El Banco Rojo is known for their kebabs, killer lamb empanadas, Big Harvey shrimp sandwich, Philly Cheesesteak and daily specials with fun names like the San Telmwich (thai chicken with a Kung Fu sauce), The Trucker (pulled pork) and the big Big M_C? hamburger.
Another member of the cool San Telmo club, the staff is decked out in classic ST gear with one of the best Buenos Aires t-shirts ever, printed in big letters: FUCK YOU, we’re from San Telmo. Just from quickly looking at the space, hip hop blasting and creative menu you can tell it’s the type of place that has a lot of spicy love and care put into the food, with food that is likely to taste mighty fine.
Ever since my recent Israel travels, I tend to food-dream about lamb. Even though BA is a mini hub for shawarma Middle Eastern-Armenian goodies, it’s not common to find lamb on many menus. So, when I saw they offer a lamb döner kebab, my expectations shot sky-high, remembering those bites of lamb pita wonder in the Shuk HaKarmel in Tel Aviv.
Made on a vertical rotating spit, the thinly carved lamb in the boner kebab is packed with flavorful spiced meatiness and filled with all the salad fixings, picante kick, yogurt sauce and stuffed in a warm toasty pita. Dripping in juicy lambness, it’s one of those hearty sandwiches that never fails and always satisfies. As does the rest of the banging menu.
Mostly meant for takeaway, the small space does have a few bar stools, and a red bench in the front (banco rojo, duhhh) for sidewalk eating. Fresh ingredients, homemade sauces, creative food items, good music in the background – this place is absolutely legit.
El Banco Rojo
Bolivar 866, San Telmo
Tues – Fri: 12pm – 12.30am
Sat: 6pm – 12.30am
Sun: 12pm – 12.30am