One Buenos Aires for Wang Wei

Things that mustn’t be left without doing in MY Buenos Aires

(a totally disordered and purely subjective enunciation: others may have different Buenos Aireses)

  • Alfajores of chocolate and dulce de leche (brands: Havanna and now Cachafaz, made by the former pastry makers of the firm “Havanna” which was sold).
  • Bonafide bocaditos (morsels), or Cabsha which are smaller.
  • Revuelto Gramajo (Gramajo scramble), a typical porteño dish not suitable for low colesterol diets: very fine fried potatoes and ham, scrambled with eggs and the possible addition of leek and green peas.
  • asado, of course: all kinds of meat barbecued on coal and firewood: beef: asado de tira (short ribs), vacío (flank steak), colita de cuadril (rump steak) , lomo (tenderloin), matambre (outer flank steak), not forgetting the achuras, various viscera (you might prefer not going into what each one is), mollejas (sweetbread), riñoncitos (kidney), chinchulines (beef chitterlings) etc. But also pork and chicken.
  • Empanadas (individual semicircular pies with different fillings) are also typical. The more traditional are those with meat and cheese fillings, but in Buenos Aires there are an infinity of varied fillings that purists refuse to recognize as “empanadas”. Each province – especially those of North-Western Argentina – has its own way of preparing them.
  • milanesas! (slender meat slices covered with a batter of grated bread and egg and fried in oil.) In Europe they are known as “schnitzels”.
  • drinking mate (an infusion of mate herb). It can be in the traditional way, which is sipping it trough a metal straw out of a hollow gourd or as what is called ‘mate cocido’ or ‘boiled mate’ which means making it like any other infusion (there are mate bags).
  • wines, of course (but I am totally ignorant in the matter – and not because of any religious reasons. I would even say that I am unworthy of my family because of this unforgivable lacking…)

  • Libertador Avenue, in the zone of the Bosques de Palermo (Palermo Woods), up to the area of the Recoleta. Rather a series of parks than ‘woods’. Here used to be the residence of Juan Manuel de Rozas, Governor of Buenos Aires and important caudillo in the mid-eighteenth century.
  • The Recoleta Cemetery and the elegant neighbourhood that surrounds it (Alvear Avenue, Quintana Avenue).
  • The Botanical Gardens, somewhat unkempt for some years now, but getting better (it’s a childhood space for me, so it will always maintain its charm – albeit as a testimony of tempus fugit – so that the more deteriorated it is, the more evident its message!)
  • The area of Callao Avenue and Santa Fe Avenue (enter the book store, bar and concert café space “Clásica y Moderna”)
  • 9 de Julio Avenue, a block wide (to construct it whole blocks were torn down for its entire length), with the emblematic “Obelisco” in its crossing with Corrientes Avenue.
  • Corrientes Avenue with its book stores and theatres, somewhat run down now, but still keeping something of its personality ( you must eat pizza at “Los Inmortales”).
  • Plaza San Martín (visit the Plaza Hotel, first luxury hotel in Latin America).
  • Barrio de Palermo, formerly a neighbourhood of malevos (urban toughies), today of modern designers. Borges must be recalled, fascinated as he was by the aura of slummish peril that this area had when he was a child. Then, a small distance away, you can visit the museum-house of Geogie’s friend, polifacetic Xul Solar.
  • San Telmo and Plaza Dorrego with its Fair of Antiquarians on weekends.
  • The neighbourhood of Barracas and Lezama Park (where some scenes of Sábato’s On Heroes and Tombs were set).
  • La Boca and Caminito. As well as the typical tango alley, nowadays the Proa Foundation is a must.
  • My neighbourhood: Belgrano. Avoid the hours when classes finish at schools: traffic goes mad. Walk through 11 de Septiembre or 3 de Febrero streets between the streets of Federico Lacroze and Juramento. Reach Plaza General Belgrano where “La Redonda” Church is. Look over Belgrano R, one of the finest residential areas in Buenos Aires
  • Go to the outskirts of Buenos Aires, especially San Isidro. (I can’t invite everyone, but to me, my club, the Náutico San Isidro, is something that shouldn’t be missed. See the Rio de la Plata Delta, visiting the city of Tigre and its Port of Produce (Puerto de frutos)

1. Obelisco (Corrientes & 9 de Julio Avenues) • 2. Plaza San Martín • 3. San Telmo Quartier • 4. Lezama Park • 5. La Boca • 6. Santa Fe & Callao Avenues • 7. Libertador Avenue through the Palermo “Woods” • 8. Botanical Gardens • 9. Palermo Quartier • 10. Recoleta Cemetery • B. My quartier: Belgrano (out of the map) • x. This is where Wang Wei will reside during his sojourn in Buenos Aires

Nevertheless, let us not be so idealistic… As something that can’t be absent in the spirit of a porteño who always has criticism on hand and complaints on the tip of his tongue, let us remember that our visitors will surely not be able to avoid running into streets that need more cleaning, traffic jams caused by an infinity of reasons, ill tempered and aggressive people. In short, the daily charm of living in Buenos Aires!


Bocaditos of chocolate and dulce de leche

Revuelto gramajo


The church “La Redonda” in Belgrano

Recoleta Cemetery

Corrientes Avenue with the Obelisco

San Telmo

Belgrano R, Melián Street

Plaza de Mayo

Círculo Militar in the zone of Plaza San Martín

Santa Fe Avenue in front of Plaza San Martín

© 2005 Fotogalería Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires

10 comentarios:

Languagehat dijo...

You have no idea how homesick that makes me. Last time I went to an Argentine restaurant here they were out of milanesa!

Studiolum dijo...

You’d better come to Hungary and take a beautiful piece of “bécsi szelet”. It is just nothing else than Argentine milanesa!

Julia dijo...

No, no, no! Language Hat should come back to Argentina!
¿Qué es esto, Tamás, de robarnos visitantes ilustres? :)
Además aquí podrá comer también una de mis variantes preferidas de cuando era chica "milanesa a la napolitana" (con salsa de tomate y muzzarella derretida por encima)

Studiolum dijo...

¿Milanesa a la napolitana, schnitzel con salsa de tomate? Mera herejía, cisma y apostasía, además de ser una absurdidad geográfica.

Julia dijo...

Heresy or not heresy, it's delicious!

Y la Argentina nunca se caracterizó por su "logicidad", así que vuestro ataque poca mella nos hace...

Studiolum dijo...


Julia dijo...

¡¡Y a mucha honra!!

Unknown dijo...

I see that you have covered everything. recoleta Cemetery where well-known Evita is buried. Círculo Militar, the place the army uses for its social events (I have been inside, it is amazing, it is a mansion with a red carpet and at leat 50 rooms, Belgrano R, the most expensive neighborhood together with Puert Madero, San Telmo which has to do a lot with Tango and soccer and the obelisk the must-see monument of Argentina. Now you can say you know the important spots in BA. Last year I rented a a Furnished apartment in Buenos Aires in the neighborhood of Palermo. it is the biggest "barrio" in the city and the most charming restaurants.

Anónimo dijo...

This a is really complete work regarding Buenos Aires, it´sa big city and it´s always nice to read more about it. I was checking an Argentina travel guide with pretty info about other regions of Argentina.

Julia dijo...

¿no les digo? pasó otra vez...
depressing, depressing!