On the far end of Palermo Hollywood, stumble up to the house-like tall door, pull on a wooden spoon, and enter into the world of Cusic: a cosy, homey café with lovely decor, wonderful baked goods and tasty homemade food.
There is something about these types of once Palermo houses/PH-converted-into-cafés that is so Buenos Aires, it’s hard not to instantly fall in lust. Hidden from street’s view, Cusic isn’t the type of spot you happen just to stumble upon, it’s a destination.
Imagine your most Martha Stewart-esque friend: she can cook, bake and has the decor to match, always whipping out adorable houseware that’s just so damn cute, it verges on annoying. It’s always a happy day going to her place because you know you’ll be well fed with some sort of delicious baked good she happened to bust out of the oven in her free time. Since I have very few friends like that, I go to Cusic to get my dose of the modern, urban homemaker.
Step into to this secret gem and you’re greeted with a lush green patio courtyard with a few tables before you enter into the main dining area. It’s the type of comfortable spot that makes you feel at home, with a leather lounging couch, wood fire chimney, exposed brick walls and cookbooks and food magazines.
Cookbooks fill the restaurant, in both English and Spanish, ranging from Jamie Oliver to Cocina Judia to CHEESE — since reading cookbooks is one of my favorite hobbies, I could kinda just sit there all day studying.
Get me on a plane to Chaco, NOW.
The menu is displayed on a big chalkboard on the wall while the actual visual good shit (baked goods) is on a big table towards the front. You know those cafés that have fresh baked goods permeating throughout the whole space like they scented it room with a chocolate chip cookie smelling room spray? Yeah. Cusic smells like that.
Even though Cusic offers a range of fresh, made to order salads, sandwiches, meriendas and a whole load of baked goods, my favorite thing is to go for the breakfast. Desayuno del Rey breakfast special is probably the most popular — fresh squeezed orange juice, scrambled eggs, fruit and coffee.
Sometimes I feel like a sucker paying for egg dishes at a restaurant. I make good eggs, so it’s just wrong to pay 40+ for something I can make myself. Luckily, this is not the case at Cusic — the scrambled eggs are perfectly cooked, probably one of the most perfect eggs I’ve eaten in this city, creamy without being mushy, soupy, dry or overcooked. I ordered it with smoked salmon and golden brown crispy potatoes, just how me likes it.
Blame it on that little cuntface Mafalda, but a few years ago, <good> soup was kinda impossible to find in Buenos Aires. Today it seems like it’s a hit on café menus, because what kind of person doesn’t love a soul warming bowl of delicious soup? Every day at Cusic there is a soup special, today’s soup: creamy potato leek.
I like my soup scorch-my-mouth hot, and even though it came out luke warm, it was still guzzled in minutes.
Sehr Guti is a mother of a sandwich — marinated roasted beef, sauerkraut, grainy mustard, melted gouda all piled on a “bagel.”
Okay, so this is a BA bagel adaption, so don’t get your snobbish New York bagel hopes up. Despite being a little dry, and the sandwich needing an extra scoop of sauerkraut, the flavors were still quite banging and it was served with perfectly roasted potatoes. Win.
As much as I want to gush about the entire experience, don’t go hungry because since everything is made in the moment, sometimes service can be a bit slow. I’ve also noticed that some of the menu items can be hit or miss — I wasn’t crazy about the quinoa salad and a few of the sandwiches, so I usually stick to what I love most: soups, breakfast, merienda (shout out to my home slices aka key lime pie and chocotorta) and Thursday night dinners.
Cusic is open during the day, but on Thursdays opens up at night to host Jueves de la gorra. Every week the dinner changes from homemade hamburgers, Thai or Indian curries, Paraguayan food, pizza, ribs, falafel and more. There’s no set price for the meal, hence a la gorra, so customers just have to pay what they think the meal is worth.
Miss Cusi herself also hosts a slew cooking and baking classes open to the public, each with a different theme ranging from curries to bread baking to pastries to pastas to brunch.
Oh, and it would be wrong not to give another shout out to my new friend who roams around. If you’re the type who gets annoyed with animals in restaurants, you should go take your puppy punting black heart elsewhere. This lovely lil’ puppet may beg for food, but one look into those sweet rag doll eyes and the perrito will have you hooked.
El Salvador 6069, Palermo Hollywood
Wed-Sun: 10am – 8pm, Thurs 8:30pm – 12am
Average price: AR$70