Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Argentina is not known for its spicy foods. On the table you'll only see salt, lonely lil salt with no pepper. However, at Mumbai in Palermo you get the peppers...and the SPICE!
Every Monday I have a yoga class where the teacher plays Hindu music. For some reason, I always want to eat Indian food after class. But I had to wait until Friday when Mike and I had time and energy. Actually, this restaurant, Mumbai, is the very first restaurant I took Mike to when he arrived a year ago. Of course, he didn't know where the hell he was last year, so this visit was more meaningful.
We went early (9pm) and the place was pretty much empty. We had the waiter all to ourselves and he was great. Very helpful in helping us order in Spandu (a messed mixture of Spanish and Hindu). Plus, he asked us about our spice level desire and explained what each one was like. There must have been an authentic Indian chef in the kitchen to be so on point.
To start we had some very authentic Veggie samosas (21 pesos). We ordered a Matter Paneer (33 pesos) and Jhal Frezy with Lamb (45 pesos) for our entrees. So tasty!! The paneer was a perfect mixture of cheesy-saucy goodness and the lamb extremely tender. The garlic naan (9 pesos) we ate with everything was huge and very dipable.
To quench our thirsts, we had a Mumbai Scratch (25 pesos) and a Gin and Tonic (20 pesos). Supposedly they use real quinine in the drinks so we had to try. Really I can't remember what the hell we drank but it went down easy.
By the time we left, the place was packed. Apparently, we weren't the only ones loving this place. I recommend this place if you are craving some spicy, delicious Indian food in Buenos Aires. Try WHATEVER is on the specials of the day. Gonna be good!
Direccion: Honduras 5684-PALERMO
Monday, July 13, 2009
Mike and I were going out on Friday night and we were set on eating some tasty Thai food at the Lotus Restaurant in Barrio Chino. When we arrived to the empty Lotus around 9pm, we were informed that all the tables were reserved. How could this be?!?! We had gotten a table easily before but never tried on a Friday night. What were we to do? We figured that testing our luck at one of the many Chinese restaurants nearby would have to be the alternative.
There's a small, almost Italian looking red and white colored Chinese resto on the corner of Mendoza and Arribenos smack dab in the middle of Barrio Chino. Every time I've walked by it, its been full. I figured that's a good sign so we took our chances and walked in. It was full and we were told by a customer waiting outside that we needed to take a number. Luck was on our side because as soon as we entered, a two-top opened up and we plopped ourselves down at a table next to the window.
It was a cold, wintery night in BsAs so we ordered two cups of wonton soup (10 pesos each) and sipped away at the yummy broth filled with greens and tasty pork filled dumplings. For our entrees we shared one order of wide noodles with mixed vegetables and meat (20 pesos) and a special eggplant dish that was supposedly 'picante' but ended up not being spicy (22 pesos). The entrees were well flavored and not too heavy on the MSG. We washed everything down with loose leafed jasmine tea (6 pesos) and ended the meal with a bowl of lychees (9 pesos). Plus the service was very good-quick and made sure they got everything right.
TRY THIS! - I noticed that many people were eating a heaping pile of veggies and meat out of a bowl made of fried noodles (it was the Chinese version of a hot taco salad).
I highly recommend this joint but suggest that you get there early on the weekends or order take out. Two chopsticks up!!!
| Cantina China Town|
Mendoza 1700 - BELGRANO
Sunday, June 28, 2009
No menu? What kind of restaurant is this? Its one where you have to trust the wait staff, the chef, and the owner Guido. In this small Palermo, chatchke filled restaurant, you will be served whatever the chef specializes in that day. The waiter asks only one question "Blanco o tinto?" depending on your wine preference. Everything else is brought in and set down in an array of colors and mouth watering flavors.
With Marilyn Monroe, tango artist Carlos Gardel, and Tony Montana staring down at you, your table will be filled with various entradas (appetizers) sometimes consisting of plates of eggplant with olive oil, garlic and red peppers, bean dips, eggplant parmesean and other tasty bread dipping deliciousness. For the plato principales (entree's) we sampled three types of pastas. My favorites being spiral pasta with a savory masala sauce and the other a spaghetti cooked al dente with a curry sauce like no other. The best part was yet to come. When they asked if we were full, we answered that we only had room for desert. That was our mistake. The platter of sumptuous deserts that was put in front of us was a diabetics nightmare. I can still taste the cream filled cannoli and a silky smooth tiramisu on my lips.
This is one place not to pass up if you're in Buenos Aires.
MUST SEE: Check out the men's room for a varitable gallery of tetas, raunchy drawings, and pin-up girls.
Direccion: República de la India 2843-PALERMO
Like all love affairs, sometimes you just can't always get what you want. One Friday night, not long ago, M and I went back to our favorite restaurant in BsAs, Guido's Bar. When we entered, we were greeted by the man that should've helped us get what we wanted. However, his heart (and all the tables) were full. We were informed that we'd have to go to the 'other, equally as good ' (aka the bastard child of Guido) Guido's Restaurant (as opposed to Guido's Bar-GsB). Our hearts sank but we were guaranteed that the quality of food was just as good since the chef from Guido's Bar moved over to the new locale, just a few blocks away.
With our heads hung down, we headed up Republica de India, feeling rejected and starved for love (or comida). When the doors opened, we were welcomed by a gay cowboy, chipper as all get up but definitely of the Palermo hipster breed. As we followed him to the bar while we waited to get seated, we noticed the vibe was completely opposite of GsB. Instead of old film photos, chatsky's cluttering the walls and shelves, and tables of families, old union looking guys, and an occasional tourist, this one was full of trendy chetto (snobby) folk, clean dark wood walls hung with fancy, large mirrors, and sofa chairs next to the tables. The vibe felt like a cheap date that turned out to actually be expensive for no good reason.
We decided the best way to really test this place's true love would be to try the Degustacion menu (which is how we ate at GsB ). At 90 pesos its pricey but worth it. However, you have to wear your heart on your sleeve as you enter because you get whatever Guido has in store for you from the kitchen. There is a menu but just take your chances as we did and let go of the reigns and rest in the hands of chef Guido. We figured we would fill our empty souls with platters of savory appetizers, pastas to get choked up about, and a platter of four various deserts to write home about. To top it off, a bottle of rich and tasty Malbec was to be partnered with the deliciousness.
As soon as we ordered, the cornucopia started pouring in with plates of eggplants with red peppers and Mediterranean sauce , sauteed and mashed chickpeas, olive spreads, and baked vegetables stuffed with cheese. All of a sudden there were taste explosions in our mouths. We weren't sure if we could handle more of this roller coaster of emotions, when all of a sudden the pasta arrived. The most amazing part of the Guido's experience is the homemade pasta cooked perfectly al dente. The way they prepare their pastas is an art piece in food expression and we were able to make room for the world tour. We closed our eyes and just tasted the goodness slip past our tastebuds.
The next phase of emotional highs and lows, we were given was our grand finale sugar fix. Four varieties of deserts, homemade and very Italian were dropped off in front of us. A sinfully, dark chocolaty cake and a small flan mountain were the most memorable, little morsels of sweetness but not overwhelming. We couldn't handle to much more of this affair.
The food of at Guido's Restaurant really tested our love. The food was just as true and rich as GsB but the waiters and Western-style, snobby host did not make us feel as welcome and familial. The whole experience was nothing like Guido's Bar where the service and atmosphere are key compnents for making the relationship work. Therefore, I say go to Guido's Restuarant when there's no chance to get into GsB.
MUST SEE: Check out the sauced, single, elderly lady at the bar nodding off while eating her desert and drinking her large copa de vino. When we were lucky enough to view her, she'd been at the bar eating and drinking since 8 pm and it was 12 am, our waitress informed us.
Address: Blvd. Cerviño 3943 - PALERMO
For a fresh, organic flavor burst, check out this Seattle like veggie haven. The quaint, cute interior makes you feel like you're sitting in someone's hippified living room. You're lucky if you get a table because Argentine and tourists alike seem to connect with this meat free zone.
When we sat down, the waitress brought us some homemade wheat bread with a delicious bean dip. Mike ordered a red wine that they didn't have in stock so they poured him two glasses of a tasty Malbec from the Cuatro Vacas Gordas (four fat cows) wine maker. We started the meal with a miso soup that was floating with mushroom, onions, and tofu. Our main dishes were the Chef's recommendations. I ordered the baked tofu in a red wine reduction over a colchon (mattress) of quinoa and spinach. Very lightly seasoned and yet full of flavor. Mike's dish was a veggie curry with jasmine rice which tasted like a non-spicy Indian curry. The food was an oasis of health after being filled with many meals of grilled meat, pizza,or pasta.
To finish the meal, we had an apple crumble with sesame ice cream. I left feeling very satisfied to have had an organically, fresh, vegetarian meal in the carnivorous world of Argentina.
DON'T MISS- They have a wonderful selection of yummy foods from their small store such as hard to find wines, organic dulce de leches, and teas up the wazoo.
Direccion: Humboldt 2199 esq. Guatemala - PALERMO
If you're jonesin for some spice, which does not exist in most Argentine restaurants, than you'll be happy with the sizzling feeling left in your mouth when you eat at Bi Won. This rare Korean hightlight in the parrilla obsessed world of BsAs restaurants offers tasty dishes that use more than just black pepper to heat up their food.
From the outside, you may walk by this Once establishment except if you noctice the small sign hanging outside. The interior feels like you've entered a Howard Johnson hotel restaurant that was splattered with some Korean writings and a few paper screens. However un-Korean it feels, the waiters (all Argentine) know their stuff and there were real life Koreans at the surrounding tables. The waiters bring out the menu, and help you navigate the Soju (Korean vodka) list, showing you how to pour it without insulting anyone.
The first part of the eating adventure started with a heaping helping of banchan (small plates of food before your real food arrives) which included kim-chi, pickled cucumber, diakon, spinach, fried fishies, some unidentifiables, and the "always happy to come to the banchan party"-the mayonnaisey potato salad.
For our entrees, we decided on dolsot bibimbap, a staple of rice, meat and veggies served in a stoneware pot and a brothy, dumpling soup. Both were very tasty and fresh. The salt to size of plate ratio was high as usual but I did not go into an MSG haze after finishing. To help counter balance the spice and salt, we were served sliced oranges which was a nice finale
to a fantastic meal.
DON'T FORGET TO- Chat it up with the waiters and pick their brains on whats good.
Direccion: Junín 548 - ONCE
Friday, June 26, 2009
Is it a crime to sell obscenely delicious churros in Buenos Aires? I didn't think so, but when I recently pedaled up to Fabrica de Churros, a small 3-person "factory" of a store on Calle Olleros between Avenida Corrientes and Avenida Forest in the Chacarita neighborhood, there were scores of police officers out front, cars parked askew in the street with lights flashing.
...they were not, as it turns out, there for the churros. An actual real crime was in progress across the street, but the small queue of customers sidled along the counter for the freshly deep-fried sticks of dough--plain, filled with dulce de leche, or covered in chocholate, or both (una bomba!)--were not deterred from scoring their golden loot, criminals on the loose or not.
Fabrica de Churros is worth going a few extra stops on the B line for a dozen, don't pass up the dulce de leche option.
Fabrica de Churros
Dirección: Juan Jose Olleros 4169-CHACARITAS