Once upon a time, as one of my quests to learn about the culture and the porteño lifestyle, I went to the same café-restaurant, kind of like a typical diner, in Microcentro everyday to lunch among all the white-collars. The rules were to not repeat anything I had had before (except for drinks) and if there was an item on the Today’s Specials that I didn’t know, went for it. After having done this tasty exercise for around a month, I thought I have tried every single type of typical Buenos Aires dishes this city has to offer. That was true until last week when I came across this article “Diez lugares para comer los mejores platos de la gastronomía porteña” the other day in La Nacion.
I have to confess that out of the 10 items, 3 of them I have never tried! I am actually very surprised with the list that none of it is about carne (beef)!! Ok, the milanesa (breaded veal) is beef but it’s not the beloved parrilla kind that Argentines can’t live without. Los cornalitos fritos (No. 5) is one of the 3 that I have never had before, and I didn’t even know Argentines like such dishes because they are hardly the seafood type. If I had to pick, I’d have guessed rabas (fried calamari) any day over little fried fishes, but trust me, I’ll be heading over there soon enough to wash them down with some refreshing beer!
The other 2 that I haven’t tried before are las papas soufflé and el puchero. The former are probably just another fancy way to make potato chips but I have to say I have not seen chips made into little pillows like these anywhere before. Don’t they just make you want to wolf them down?! The latter is a hot dish cooked with chickpeas, vegetables and meat together. The description sounds like locro at first (a stew with different meat, vegetables, beans, lentils etc), which is something I love to order in the winter but after some researching, it’s a completely different dish. And as it is described in the article that it’s the kind of dish that are usually home-made rather than ordered at a restaurant. No wonder to this day, I still have not seen el puchero readily offered in a menu or on the big chalk board on the sidewalk.
It’s never fun to just hear the names of food and don’t know what they are or how they look like, so here, with the help of Google, here are the 10 food items mentioned in the article in the same order:
1) el revuelto gramajo (the picture is up at the top. Those noodle-like food are not noodles, they are potato in noodle shape.)