Food festivals, #MAPA, new restaurant favorites, old restaurant favorites, Peruvian food orgasms, aperitivo tours, food tours and Latin America’s 50 best: spring has sprung, bringing the rain, Jacarandás, and extra calories just in time to get your body ready for the upcoming potbellied sunga cocksock season. And of course this is why you’re fat, Spring 2013 edition.
The second annual Feria Masticar proved to be another success where over 78,000 people headed out to El Dorrego during a four day gastro filled event with food, seminars and great local products. Chefs, restaurants, journalists, food experts and local producers were all in attendance to celebrate all things Argentine food. (Ph: Mass)
On to the next food fair, this time at Tecnópolis. Raíz is a first annual “feria popular” that was created to celebrate Argentina’s culinary diversity, culture, and identity. An all star list of restaurants were in attendance, like Aramburu making bomb burgers that should have their own food truck, La Crespo, El Banco Rojo, Astor, Chan Chan and Aipim, along with an impressive beer garden, Francis Mallmann dangling 400 chickens over an open fire spit and a king of asado con cuero impressively throwing down manly hunks of cow.
The New Malvón
Villa Crespo brunch hotspot Malvón now brings their New York style café charm to Palermo Botántico, opening a second bread loving location. The space, which doubles as the bakery production camp, features the same Malvón favorites: English muffins, rye bread, monkey bread, and maracuyá cheesecake. The back garden is prime, with a front row view to watch the bakers at work in the open kitchen.
There’s something about Chan Chan that will always have a special place in my heart. It brings back those Buenos Aires yesteryear memories, a slutty time I started an amorous affair with ceviche. The prices haven’t changed much since my first visit in 2006, and the crew is still banging out killer ají de gallina, ceviche, pescado a la plancha and some of the best advertisements in the city.
Astor – Manduque Porteño
Antonio Soriano‘s new Colegiales food haven ticks every box as the perfect multi purpose restaurant. Daily menu for leisurely lunchers? Check. Bar for solo diners? Check. Romantic candle lit tasting menu? Check. Affordable prices? Check. Ultra market fresh food? Check. Unique modern Argentine menu? Check.check. Astor is already a contender for best new Buenos Aires restaurant 2013.
Pain et Vin
Sourdough bread, great wine, awesome coffee, wine tastings AND fabulous sandwiches?! I’m FANGIRL #1 of newly opened Palermo Soho spot Pain et Vin. Go. Now. Eat. Bread. Drink. Wine.
FUUDIS has gotten into the DRYYNKS business teaming up with Gruppo Campari and the maestro of aperitivos, the grand Ambassador Martin Auzmendi, to lead a boozy-ful bar hop of aperitif-campari-cynar-aperol persuasion. Every month a group of 20+ set off on a culinary cocktailing journey hitting up three bars to discover Buenos Aires’ wonderful aperitivos. More info on Aperitours here.
Speaking of aperitivos, this season premiered the most twitter twalked(?) about cocktail contest in the great history of Argentina. Over 180 drink lovers transformed into cocktail mad scientists to come up with their own original aperitivo recipe, that had to include at least Cynar, Cinzano, Aperol and/or Campari. With cocktail in hand, each Movimiento Aperitivo Argentino participant then wrote a creationist story behind their drinkable invention. 10 finalists were chosen by a band of gastro-celebrity judges before the winner was named and crowned a trip to Italy. Oh, and everyone was invited to a Downton Abbey esque day drinking party at a palace that should invoke insane amounts of jealous envy for anyone who didn’t attend.
Bloody Fucking Mary, you complete me. Not only could Florería’s Bloody compete for best in Buenos Aires (anyone for a BA Bloody Mary making competition?), but it has potential to stand alongside any of the worldwide greats. The “Mitaz Bloody Mitaz Gazpacho” is packed with homemade roasted tomatoes, Tanqueray, dry sack Sherry, and spicy goodness. Problem? One Bloody is never enough, you’ll want this on tap.
Delicious food, incredible service, simple yet complex flavors, great wines, there’s a reason why Tomo 1 is one of BA’s longest standing top notch restaurants.
I’ve finally been able to give mad endless love to an Argentine-style pizzería –> enter La Más Querida. That cracker thin crust brilliantly charred on a dirty grill, pizza a la parrilla is kinda underrated. This small pizza mecca in Barrio Chino has been making the good stuff for years, grilling up massive pizzas with unique winning flavors: pesto, tapenade, enchilada, gruyere + panceta, smoked salmon + mushroom. The biggest plus? The pizza comes with three dipping sauces, one of which is actually spicy. DIPPING SAWWCE.
Ramen soup, pork buns and gyoza dumplings have graced Palermo with it’s homemade noodle presence. Inspired by noodle bars like Momofuko and steamed bun house Bao Haus in NYC, Fukuro brings a fresh cool space that is totally different to anything that exists in Buenos Aires. And they serve bomb ass cookies and milk for dessert.
Il Ballo de Mattone
Gracias a hashem I got a hot tip from a fellow Israeli food lover about an Israeli owned shawarma hole in Almagro/Parque Centenario. The space itself is nothing special, there are a few wooden bench tables inside for a quick and delicious face stuffing, but most of the orders are to-go (and only open during the week). Shabbat Shawarma.
Latin America’s 50 Best
This year marked the first annual 50 Best Restaurant Latin America awards in Lima in early September. A chance for Latin American restaurants to be put on the international map, Argentina led as the country with the most wins: Tegui (#9), La Cabrera (#17), Tomo 1 (#18), Oviedo (#27), Chila (#28), Sucre (#29), Aramburu (#31), Pura Tierra (#33), 1884 (#37), El Baqueano (#39), Unik (#40), Paraje Arévalo (#44), Casa Umare (#45), Hernán Gipponi (#49), Elena (#50). I was ever so lucky to check them all out in action at Oviedo, where all the restaurants and chefs showcased some beautiful dishes.
The biggest food festival in Latin America, Mistura is a heavenly place where food dreams are made, celebrating the wonders and diversity of Peruvian cuisine. More details on this later, but it was a culinary experience of a lifetime. (Check out a recap of the festival I wrote for Eater.com)
The first thing any food obsessor should do when visiting a new country is head straight to the market, followed by a trip to the supermarket. In Lima I picked up the best saucy buy ever: tarí. I know this crema de ají is packed with terrible-for-you chemicals and fats, but once that creamy golden spicy crack-addicting sauce hits your lips, it’s just so good. For now I’m rationing, but it will be a sad day when it’s all gone.
Food touring is the next phenomena to hump Buenos Aires by storm. After a year of organizing personalized food whoring hops, I’m teaming up with the photog wonders at Foto-Ruta for a mega street food photo tour: #ComidaRuta. Because we all know it’s cool to take pics of our food, and we know it’s even cooler to hashtag it.
If you don’t know about Guido’s by now, you probably should. It’s an infamous tiny barrio Italian spot in Palermo Botánico that has been around forever. There are no menus, Guido just brings course upon course of Italian family style eats. Insanely good antipasti and pastas, go with an open food mind and a hungry stomach. (Photo Jocelyn Mandryk)
Walk into the community center-like salon greeted by an Arab mannequin (with a permanent sign that reads “credit cards momentarily suspended”), sit at a large round table, and begin to order Middle Eastern delights: hummus, fried eggplant, tabbouleh, mtabal, Fatush salad, empanadas arabes, stuffed grape leaves, and chicken or steak kebab.
Some girls like shoes and clothes, I like cheese, spices, sauces, and kitchen appliances. After an impromptu visit to the US, I stuffed my suitcase with important goods: cheddar cheese, turkey bacon, English muffins, tortillas, coffee, maple syrup, agave honey, chipotle, guajillo and ancho peppers, curry pastes, a food processor, juicer (RIP), blender, barbecue sauce, hot sauces, Indian spices, and Thanksgiving fundamentals.
WiFi connection = Home. Bar with drinks = Home. Resto/bar with fresh bread + drinks + WiFi + awesome atmosphere = heaven.
There’s a reason why this private puerta cerrada restaurant continues to make the rank as top in Buenos Aires: the exceptional food. Dishes are smartly and beautifully created, using textures and flavor combinations that hit all the right places. Highlights of the new menu included: the award winning bread basket with lime butter, coconut ceviche with mango and lychee, shrimp with pineapple and fennel, and cacao with olive oil and sea salt. (Photo of chipa: I Latina)
There’s nothing more exciting than moving to a new neighborhood and finding that go-to barrio gem. Any bar that serves massive glasses of wine and Fernet, and has plastic Serrano ham legs hanging and a bigger than life size statue of Homer Simpson as decor – all that should win some kind of award. (Photo Jocelyn Mandryk)
Almagro (and BA’s) #1 casa de spiedo, La Cresta continues to make a killing with their insanely delicious wraps, salads and daily specials (all to-go). So fresh, so seasonal, so good I have been known to make my own personal delivery boy bike over for a La Cresta drug run.
4th Grade Breakfast
My mom is a hoarder. She saves things like school papers, fallen out baby teeth, and almost every art project I’ve ever made. My recent finding was this 4th grade master pottery piece where I channeled Walt Jr. and made a clay plate of breakfast. Pancakes, son.
Fast fattening this-is-why-you’re-fat facts for spring:
Astor –> Ciudad de la Paz 353, Colegiales
Pain et Vin –> Gorriti 5132, Palermo Soho
Teamim –> Diaz Velez 4431, Parque Centenario
Fukuro Noodle Bar –> Costa Rica 5514, Palermo Hollywood
Chan Chan –> Hipolito Yrigoyen 1390, Congreso
Malvón Botánico –> Lafinur 3275, Palermo Botánico
#ComidaRuta Food Tours
Il Ballo de Mattone –> Gorriti 5737, Palermo Hollywood
La Más Querida –> Echeverría 1618, Belgrano
Hanan –> Julián Álvarez 1272, Palermo
Tomo 1 –> Carlos Pelegrini 555, 1st Floor Panamericano Hotel
Florería Atlántico –> Arroyo 872, Retiro
Guido’s –> República de la India 2843, Palermo Botánico
Bardepán / La Prometida –> Virrey Arredondo 3486, Colegiales
I Latina –> Murillo, Villa Crespo
Mamita –> Alvarez Thomas 487, Colegiales
La Cresta –> Bulnes 829, Almagro