Tag Archives: Provoleta

La Brigada ***

Estados Unidos 465
San Telmo, Buenos Aires
(+54) 11 4361.5557

CHECK OUT THE MENU!

Lets face it, you’re going to get a good piece of steak no matter where you decide to eat in BA (I would honestly consider beef the cultural glue here…like music is to New Orleans). But if you’re on the hunt for the absolute best parrilla in terms of atmosphere, service, and quality of food–as most visiting tourists are–then you will certainly stumble across the name La Brigada at some point in your search (albeit be on Google, at  your hotel concierge, or local word of mouth).

Located in the heart of San Telmo and filled with gaucho/futbol memorabilia (all Boca, of course!), La Brigada is considered a major contender for the title of best parrilla in Buenos Aires, competing alongside Cabana las Lilas, Don Julio, and La Cabrera, just to name a few. One unique feature that has helped to set La Brigada apart from the rest, is that they serve the steak by cutting it with a spoon–a testament to its tenderness. Naturally, upon hearing word of this, I went to witness it myself!

The atmosphere of the place is very old-school, not dingy in any way, but broken in (as all well-loved things are). Images of cows and futbol players hang side-by-side on the walls, and crisp white linens and shiny crystal glasses adorn the tables. Upon entry, you will submit your senses to the heavenly and pungent aroma of steak, which will have you smacking your lips in anticipation of your meal. Cue the ordering frenzy!

My friends and I started our dinner off with a nice bottle of Rutini Malbec and then embarked on the delicious and abundant bread basket. Next we shared an order of Provoleta, which is a wedge of provolone cheese gilled in a cast iron skillet until it turns a delicious golden color at the edges. The provoleta was served nice and hot, and I thought it was very tasty. Although, I must admit I tend to like mine with a little more “umph.” You know, sautéed onions, peppers, and herbs (I acknowledge that it’s not traditional, but I am a modern and progressive 22-year old).

Next we ordered a simple Mixed Green Salad with Tomatoes and Onions, tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. A salad is a salad, need I say more?

Now we get to the stuff that really matters…..the STEAK! My friend and I decided to share the whopping 30-ounce Baby Beef (mainly because this is the cut rumored to be served with a spoon…I’m a sucker for presentation) and it was enormous! Note: The portion below is on my half of the steak!

Unfortunately though, they did NOT cut it with a spoon. Not my meat, not no ones, which was a rather big disappointment. The quality of the beef, however, was incredible. It was a couple of inches thick, with just the right amount of marbled fat, and it was cooked to perfection. I asked for it medium and it actually came out medium (this is to say as American’s would define medium). I have found in Buenos Aires that they often overcook the meat, so to see red drippings on the plate when I finished was a refreshing change.

Two of my other friends ordered the Bife de Lomo in Peppercorn Sauce, which was an absolute disaster. The peppercorn sauce had some sort of metallic aftertaste (almost inedible) and the steak was completely overdone, despite their requests for medium-rare temperature. A french chef would have been appalled seeing a steak with absolutely no red hue. In fact, it was so bad that neither of them finished their meals. And it is this inconsistency between a fabulous steak and a horrendous steak that leaves La Brigada with just 3 out of 5 stars.

The Potatoes au Gratin (or shall i say, Batatas a Gratinada) were fantastic though!!! They were creamy, and cheesy, and probably my favorite part of the meal. They came as an unexpected complimentary side to the Bife de Lomo, but were large enough to share among the entire table. Likewise, the French Fries were also very tasty!

My other friend (already a getting a little tired of beef), decided to order the Chicken Parmesan (or Milanesa Suprema Napolitana de Pollo). Given the size (which you can see below), she  was able to spare me a couple of bites and I thought it was delicious. I wouldn’t normally order chicken at a well known steakhouse, but I was impressed by the dish.

Last but not least, we ordered a Creme Brûlée  and round ofcafe con leches for dessert. The creme brûlée was spot on and a perfect way to end our meal.

Overall, I would be willing to give La Brigada another chance because half of the meal was great, but I do prefer La Cabrera and Cabana las Lilas as it stands right now (and I plan to try Don Julio this coming week to make my final judgement!).

Leave a comment

Filed under Buenos Aires Restaurants, International Restaurants

La Cholita *****

Rodriguez Peña 1165
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Recoleta
11 4815 4506

I’ve only been in Buenos Aires for about three weeks now, but I am eating my way through this city at an almost unstoppable rate. Since I am currently living in a hostel, the kitchen situation is less than ideal (toaster oven = only oven), forcing me to venture out for about two meals a day. But hey, I’m not complaining!

I am doing the Buenos Aires food scene like a true Porteno, and getting in touch with my carnivorous side. It’s bife de lomo, bife de chorizo, vacio, morcilla, and salchicha for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ohh, and don’t forget the Malbec! I thought I would be sick of it by now, but something tells me I’ll develop gout before I tire out of this good steak and wine.

Unlike my previous travels this summer, which I treated like a vacation in terms of budget (aka no budget), I am now living in Buenos Aires–this is not a vacation. And since I will be working for pesos, I need to think of spending in pesos. Naturally, this equates to a budget.  I’ve pretty much eliminated every expense that is unrelated to eating and drinking (so no more new shoes or unnecessary beauty treatments), and I’ve begun exhaustively hunting for the best food deals in the city. But just because I am on a budget, doesn’t mean I am compromising the quality of my meals. I won’t give a restaurant a good review just because the food is dirt cheap. Personally, I’d rather eat Ramen Noodles at home 5 nights a week to enjoy 1 good meal out than a bunch of cheap meals.

Fortunately though, I have found La Cholita–an incredible parrilla in Recoleta with big portions and even better prices. I’ve dinner here at least twice a week since I have been in Buenos Aires because it truly is the best bang for your buck. I recommend the Provoleta Completa (28 pesos) to start, which is a cast iron skillet with baked provolone cheese, topped with onions, oregano, tomato, and a drizzle of olive oil. Baked cheese, need I say more? I also love the Salchicha Parrillera (14 pesos), which is a very flavorful grilled sausage wrapped in a coil and secured with a skewer. It is awesome, and doesn’t have the fatty texture of most other sausages. Both of these make great appetizers for the table to share, and I highly recommend sharing at parrillas because they are generous with the portions.

As far as meat goes, the Bife de Lomo (55 pesos) is my favorite because it is the most tender and the least fatty. The plate comes with two huge pieces of meat, a side of french fries, and mashed calabaza (which is a cross between a sweet potato and a pumpkin, in my opinion). I also like the Bife de Chorizo (53 pesos), again large enough to share, and served with the same sides.

If you aren’t in the mood for steak though, La Cholita also happens to have some of the best Chicken Quesadillas (32 pesos) that I have ever had. They come served with guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, a fresh side salad, and french fries. I was eery to order them at first (considering I was at a steak place), but they turned out to be amazing and I order them often. I also suggest the Suprema Milanga de Pollo Napolitana (36 pesos), which is an obnoxiously large piece of chicken fried to golden perfection, and then baked with tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella cheese. It is accompanied by a serving of french fries and it is a belly buster to finish.

If you are looking for something on the lighter side, a rather difficult task in Argentina, then I recommend the Ensalada la Cholita, which is a bed of mixed greens topped with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, diced peppers, and a large piece of chicken palliard.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to eat you way into a food coma, I suggest the Parrilla para Dos, which is an enormous sizzling hot-plate of mixed grilled meats. Here is a glimpse of what you will get:

Ohh, and the house wine is dirt cheap and a HUGE pour! So far this is my favorite casual dinner spot in Buenos Aires. Great steak, great prices, and big portions, and big pours.  Love it!

1 Comment

Filed under Buenos Aires Restaurants, International Restaurants