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Racing in Buenos Aires

May 21, 2012

Yesterday I completed my first race ever, the El Grafico 8K (5.2 miles) in Palermo. For some reason, Emma and I took on running during our time spent in Buenos Aires, culminating in this race. After waking up the earliest we have ever woken up in BsAs, we made our way to the parks. The energy there was great, with a D.J. at 9 a.m and a warm-up session filled with old Argentine’s in really short shorts jumping around. What could be better?

When we lined up to begin the race, our nerves were there and adrenaline filled. The clock started and we took off with over 2,000 other Argentines dressed in their blue shirts. Laura jumped in to run the race with us as well on the beautiful course that took us around the Palermo parks.

The finish line was the best part–lots of people cheering, taking pictures, and of course free drinks and snacks. They say races are addicting, and I think I’ll have to agree with that. I’m looking for some more this summer!

champs with their medals

Iguazu Chasing

May 14, 2012

This past weekend, I got to travel to Puerto Iguazu to see one of the Wonder of the Worlds: Iguazu Falls. After a 14 hour bus ride, which was actually pretty enjoyable–wide seats go all the way back, food is served, Social Network played–we arrived to an estancia and mate factory. It was a beautiful day to sit by the pool and be fed copious amounts of grilled meat.

mate assembly line

The next day, we headed to the waterfalls. We had our “waterfalls” playlist ready, including TLC’s “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls”, Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” and any other songs that had the word water at this point in the game. Despite the clouds and rain, the longest waterfall in the world was absolutely amazing.We saw the falls from the top and the sides, while getting completely soaked at the same time. The national park is really well done, with these extensive walkways and balconies to see the falls from all sorts of views. I’ve been to Niagara, but I’ve decided I like this hunk of water better.

Devil’s Throat

Now with this trip under my belt, we only have two weeks left of school and finals! I wonder how studying will go while I simultaneously need to plow through my bucket list.

Some James Blake in BsAs

May 6, 2012

Last night I headed to La Trastienda Club, a music venue in San Telmo to see James Blake, a British electronic performer/singer. It was sort of an impromptu purchase when I heard he was playing here the night before, but I knew I wanted to see some concert in this city by the end of my stay.

And it was great! The small venue was perfect for the artsy crowd I had never really seen yet in Buenos Aires. He played a great show and an epic encore, ending with his cover of “A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell. The crowd was loving all of it and so was I. 

Video of my favorite song he performed:

Going Viral

May 3, 2012

As I mentioned in the previous post, I was filmed for a music video. Last night, we were sent the link and are just waiting for the rush of phone calls to begin. Check out Efata and at 2:50, you might see someone you recognize!

Biking, Graffiti and Music Video Stars

May 1, 2012

On Sunday Ilana, Grace, Emma and I decided to take the Graffitimundo biking tour of Buenos Aires. Street art has become very popular around the world and Buenos Aires has join in, with large murals and tags all over the city. Unlike other parts of the world, graffiti doesn’t have an illegal connotation here and it is actually accepted all over the city. The artists are well-known and encouraged to paint walls to bring some color and art around. We made about eight different stops and ended in Post bar, which is where a lot of the artists hang out and showcase their work.

Stencils and friends

Biker chicks

The biking aspect was a lot of fun, except for the few times Buenos Aires drivers got in the way. Driving can be frightening and on a bike named Shotty, I was a little hesitant at times.

Obviously we were asked to be in a music video at one of the spots.

Dancing with the band

A band had been filming themselves rocking out in front of graffiti and wanted us to join in, helmets and all. So yes, I am in a music video, in a fanny pack, wearing a helmet. Hopefully this will jump-start my career.

Forking Through Argentina with Judy

April 29, 2012

This post is going to go a little different…the acclaimed writer and food connoisseur, Judith Safran, my mother, shares her thoughts on Argentine food from when she visited a few weeks ago. ***Opinions are not always genetic.

We ate very well on our trip to Argentina. By day three I had eaten so much steak and drank so much red wine that I dreamt that I had gout, and so I reduced my red meat intake for the remainder of the trip just in case my family history and fantasy were to collide.

Here is a list of our favorite restaurants, although there seemed to be an unlimited number of choices, and there were some quick stops to places with homemade empanadas and soups that I haven’t mentioned.  Buen provecho!

Buenos Aires

La Cabrera

Cabrera 5099

Neighborhood: Palmero

http://www.parrillalacabrera.com.ar/

A traditional parrilla, “steak house”, with nice atmosphere and old style decorations. “Happy hour” or early bird special–get there by 6:45 for a 7pm seating, and you will eat for half price. Since this was our first night in Buenos Aires, we weren’t ready for 10pm dinners anyway. In addition to choices of steaks and chorizo (sausage), which were truly delicious, we enjoyed a salad which had ample amounts of hearts of palm, avocado and tomatoes, decoratively arranged. The steak came with small side dishes of chimichurri, pumpkin puree and eggplant. We were pleasantly surprised that dinner for 3, including Argentine red wine, cost us a total of $57.

Since it was our first night in Buenos Aires, it set our expectations very high for the rest of the trip. Unfortunately, nothing compared to the food we ate that first night.

Las Cabras

Las Cabras Platter

Fitz Roy 1795

Neighborhood: Palermo Hollywood

We waited 45 minutes for a table, but standing in a crowd of local people, mainly in their 20s, we appreciated that we were part of a cool restaurant scene. Food was plentiful, with lots of sides. The main attraction was being part of this lively scene.

Chan Chan

Hipolito Yrigoyen 1390

Neighborhood: Congreso

Peruvian restaurant.

Chan Chan was a break from Argentine meat centered meals. We had ceviche and other fish dishes. We were the first people in the restaurant, but it was packed by the time we left.

Il Vera Arturito

San Luis 2999

Neighborhood: Once

This is a white table cloth local Italian restaurant in Once. The restaurant was filled with local people: families, older couples, many obviously knew the waiters and were greeted with hugs and hand shakes.  The pasta was homemade.  Deserts looked delicious, but we passed.

Como en Casa

Riobamba 1239, off Juncal

Neighborhood: Barrio Norte

http://www.tortascomoencasa.com/riobamba.html

We are not the type of people to return to the same restaurant more than once on a vacation, given all the variety from which to choose. But we enjoyed starting our day at this restaurant so much, that we returned to it twice.  It has outdoor seating in an inner courtyard.  There are pastries galore, delicious medialunas (glazed crescent rolls), but also an American style breakfast of eggs.

The courtyard of Como en Casa

In addition we made obligatory visits to Café La Biela and Café Tortoni, both historic restaurants.  There were so many nice places to stop for café con leche, ice cream, or wine for late afternoon, pre-dinner pick me ups.

Cafe Tortoni, the first cafe in Argentina

Patagonia

Lamb cooking at La Tablita

Parrilla La Tablita

El Calafate

http://www.la-tablita.com.ar/

A short walk over a bridge from the main street in El Calafate, this is one of the prettiest and best restaurants in El Calafate  – white table clothes. Eating Patagonian lamb in Patagonia.

Quidu

De los fresnos 3362

El Calafate

A short taxi ride from the main part of town, although it was just down the hill from our hotel, Los Ponchos. It is a lovely little restaurant, with an unusual menu, original presentations and excellent food.  – One of our best meals, and different from the traditional meat meals we had been having.

La Tapera

Antonio Rojo y Cabo Garcia,

El Chalten

Ranked #1 in El Chalten by Trip Advisor. This restaurant was in a cozy log cabin, rustic ambience with a fireplace in the middle, and a loft seating area. The people in the restaurant, like us, were there to hike. With cool temperatures at this windy end of the world, there were lots of choices of warm food:  I had a delicious lamb stew with pumpkin.  Ample chunks of meat.  Nice staff and owner who shook our hands as we left and made us feel like we were friends.

So there you have it, a little bite-through Argentina from my mother. I think I’ll keep her around.

The Happiest of Hours

April 28, 2012

Dreams do come true at La Cabrera parrilla in Palermo. To this day, my favorite steak I had was with my parents when they practically rolled off the plane and into the often too crowded and too expensive steak spot in BsAs. But, to solve those problems, we tried their happy hour. I was told that if you show up at 6:45, you get rushed in, served and kicked out by 8, but at a price you can’t beat. They take the whole bill, and cut it in half.

We started with a salad and a chorizo–a dish I knew Bob would love. The sausage was large, meaty and nicely spiced. Just don’t ask what it was.We then ordered the rib-eye. This is where the magic happened. Although slightly too rare at first, the steak was amazing. It was incredibly thick (enough for the 3 of us to share) and juicy. They give a bunch of different dipping sauces and of course, chimichurri, which is my new obsession. I will be smuggling that back into the states, or attempting to make it?

Judging from the picture, you could tell Judy and Bob would continue to enjoy the meat in Argentina. Rib-eyes and Bob-eyes. All for HALF the normal price. Not too shabby.

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