I’ve searched far and wide, from Costanera Norte to Sur, on an endless quest for Buenos Aires’ best bondiola sandwich. After upsetting the treif heavens (sorry Rabbi) on many failed attempts, I’m happy to announce this porky oinky life achievement.
Walk into one of my favorite places in Buenos Aires, through the fairy tale-like trees in the far edge of the Bosques de Palermo park and you may come across a little red hut that is extra special in my life. Right on the Bajo Belgrano border, passing the Golf Club but not quite hitting the Costanera Strip, it’s Argentine street food at its very best, a dirty makeshift shack that pumps out a memorable pork shoulder sandwich.
One of the only food carts in this neck of the bosques, the greasy grillers at “Bizzarro” (yes, with two z’s) have been around for quite some time, opening up shop every day rain or shine, who have become somewhat of park legends. While these two grillers make all the street food favorites, steak sandwiches (vaciopan) and sausage sandwiches (choripan), you gotta go for what they do best: bondiola.
Bizzarro’s bondiolas are the absolute bomb, the type of sandwich that would make any Kosher go goy. A beautiful slowly cooked pork shoulder, sliced to order and slapped on a hothot grill, squirted with the grill master’s own squeeze bottle love juice (water, lemon and garlic mix) until the edges get crispy burnt, but without drying out the middle.
Order it completa (with cheese and a fried egg), or just a naked version, before you pile on your own toppings, which are laid out on the ledge of the cart in fancy plastic and styrofoam containers. Stay away from the overly dressed salads and stick with smothering the fantastic slab of grilled pork with spicy chimichurri, fresh salsa criolla and bright red pickled cabbage.
In disappointing BA street food fashion it’s served on the standard stale bread that every spot serves in the city, and handed over on a small square of paper towel that is just as absorbent as those wax paper mini napkin sons of bitches. But all that doesn’t really matter, one bite of pork perfection and you’ll be happy you live in a world of 20 peso (3 dollar) grilled meat sandwiches.
My favorite time to eat the bondiola of my vida is during the week, when the park is fairly empty, except for the fields filled with dogs. If you are a dog lover, this will be Disney World, a magical place where all the dog walkers come together and you can prance around dog park central, creeping on all the packs of dogs.
If you are not into the whole dog scene, with your sandwich in hand head over to the communal tables, pop onto a tree stump (with waterside manmade lake views), and get into that heavenly delight. Or, if you are lucky to have planners in your life, organize an epic bondiola picnic in the park.
Special shout out goes to Señor Mychael Henry from POKE who led me to this food cart gem and recommends you order your bondiola “completa with a Fanta.”
Bizzarro Food Cart
Valentín Alsina y Tornquist – Bosques de Palermo
Open every day, Aprox hours: 11am – 6pm (closes before dark)
*Tip: Daytime this park is filled with runners, bikers, bladers, doggers and all in between, but at night it quickly turns into Trannyville central for a totally different type of eating pork in the park.