Archive for the ‘food’ Category

But What About the Food?!

June 1, 2007

I have been eating some decent food since I got here, but am not rushing out to try every delicacy at once, so it’s a slow crescendo. I’ve had one proper steak so far, at a place recommended by someone I met last week. It was quite tasty, but didn’t make me swoon. The mashed potatoes had something in them—I forget what—and were fab. I hear that generally the quality of beef isn’t as high and prices not as low as they used to be. I’ll keep exploring (I just found a cheap all-you-can-eat parrilla [barbecue] place like the ones I went to last time I was here; it’s high on the list of places to check out!).

I went to a cooking class to learn how to make empanadas before I’d even had any here. Super easy. Could definitely make them at home, esp. because they sell the wrappers at the supermarket—and you can basically put anything you want in them, though there are traditional combinations. Since then I’ve been sampling them here and there—they cost about 50 cents US, so they make a great snack whenever I’ve forgotten to eat or am starving between meals (which seems to happen a lot). The roquefort one was the best so far, but I’ve also had ones with beef and chicken.

My landlady, Virginia, has been sharing lots of nice treats with me, including today’s pears boiled with lemon zest—they were both sweet and tart. She also left me a huge pastel that was kind of like a shepherd’s pie, with potatos on top, ground beef, onions, and hard-boiled eggs in the middle (they put hard-boiled eggs in a lot of things here), and some kind of squash/potato mix on the bottom. She also often makes milanesa, which is a very thin steak breaded and fried and topped with tomato, oregano, and cheese. (more…)

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Day Three

May 23, 2007

Today I ventured farther afield on the bus, all the way to San Telmo, the neighborhood I think I want to live in. It was really easy to figure out how to get there once I bought a Guia T, the bus guide that everyone uses: Choose your starting and ending points, and figure out which bus lines cross through both squares on the corresponding maps. I walked around San Telmo a little bit today, and liked it at first, but noticed that it did feel different at night—darker, less comfortable?—than where I am now, so I’m considering different neighborhoods—I need to do some more exploring. I’m also thinking about renting in a place with Spanish-speaking roommates for a while so I’m not in a complete English bubble. We’ll see.

I still haven’t had any real steak to speak of, but I’m working on the other national staples, wine and ice cream. The bottle of Syrah/Cabernet I bought at the grocery store for less than US$4 is quite good, and today I had a helado (ice cream) mandarina, which was creamy and cool (not that I needed that on this windy, chilly day) and tasted exactly like a mandarin orange. Pretty amazing.

So Far So Good…

May 22, 2007

The last 48 hours have been a complete whirlwind, but a good one. Once I stopped trying to meet the 50-pound-per-bag checked baggage requirement, the packing finished up in a breeze, and I paid $50 to be able to take two heavy bags, one 66 and and the other 63 pounds. Worth every penny to speed up the packing, save my back (by avoiding heavy carry-ons), and bring what I want. I had three seats to myself on the overnight flight from Atlanta to Buenos Aires, so I wasn’t completely zonked when I arrived, but still pretty close. Got my bags, got money, found a taxi, and was on my way. (The taxi dispatcher even said my Spanish was good, so I started out confidently—or was he just being polite?) The minute I arrived at the place where I’m staying, in Palermo (long story—the other place in San Telmo didn’t work out, but this one’s just fine), my landlady for the next month started rattling off at break-neck speed about keys, internet, hot water, etc. etc. It was completely overwhelming, and a little frustrating, and I felt very ill-prepared, but I managed. She headed off to work and her daughter came over to study, and she talks even faster! Phew! I’m going to have to ask her to slow down. I missed most of what she said. I know she said she loves this city, she has relatives and friends moving all over—London, Barcelona, NY—but she doesn’t want to leave. And I think she said people think there are crazy people living in the States. Hmm. Will have to find out more about that next time I see her. (more…)

California Burritos

April 4, 2007

I’ll be heading to the West Coast for a visit before I head to Buenos Aires. I’m excited to see friends and am slowly making plans… I’m also planning my burritos! And I just found out that BsAs is home to the California Burrito Company, which means the withdrawal from my burrito spree in San Francisco won’t be so bad after all. Yum…