September 14th, 2009 — 11:00am
I believe that if you want to know a city, you have to embrace the streets. In Buenos Aires, I walk between three and 12 miles each day, venturing to different corners of the city
and using new routes all the time. And if Anthony Bourdain has taught me anything, it’s that street food is often some of the best a city has to offer. I’ve been taking advantage of BA’s cheap and delicious options, so I thought I’d share.
Argentina is well known for the parilla, the grill. There are many stands serving up asado, whether it’s grilled flank steak, blood sausage, burgers or chorizo. The photo above is choripan, a chorizo sausage on bread. Chorizo here is a pretty plain sausage, not the spicy stuff from Spain or Mexico. But it’s got smoke from the grill, classic chimichurri sauce and is enveloped in a perfect baguette. This 4-peso meal (just over $1 US) from Palermo is still one of the best I’ve had here.
Also at the portable parillas are hamburger patties that are otherwise unextraodinary until you realize how many topping options you have waiting for you. I dressed my burger with two varieties of chimichurri, mayo, a pepper and onion salsa of sorts, tomato, pickled cabbage, lettuce and fried shoestring potatoes. Six pesos in Puerto Madero.
When you’re less in the mood for grilled meat, pans rellenos are a great option. People walk around craft markets selling these stuffed breads out large baskets. If you’re lucky, yours will still be warm when you get it. Common fillings are ham and cheese or mozzarella, tomato and basil. I got this massive one filled with pumpkin, corn and cheese in San Telmo for 8 pesos yesterday, and I just finished the other half for lunch today.
There are many possibilities for dessert, too. The majority involve dulce de leche. These churros are filled with the heavenly stuff and are 1 peso each (about equal to a quarter) in Recoleta.
There’s much more, but consider this an introduction.