Restaurants NOT TO GO to in Buenos Aires

Old Nov 18th, 2009, 07:57 AM
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Restaurants NOT TO GO to in Buenos Aires

Okay - after reading the forums here, on Trip Advisor, on Chowhound and various other blogs, logs, etc - it seems like you are more likely to get a good, if not outstanding, meal in Buenos Aires no matter where you go.

I thought it might be fun and helpful to start a thread on restaurants to avoid rather then recommendations.

5 more weeks until I eat (and shop) my way silly through Argentina!
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 08:09 AM
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Both "Cabaña Las Lilas" and "La Cabaña" are good, but outrageously expensive. They are tourist traps, in other words.
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 10:51 AM
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Oh I so agree with av.... Major tourist traps !
Actually the restaurants that line the waterfront on Puerto Madero are all tourist traps and charge very high prices.

There are some places in Palermo Soho that are all hype and no substance but I am blank on names now.

It is hard to name places unless you have tried them more than once and found them to be terrible more than once.

I think the Best Restaurants list is more helpful.
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 02:31 PM
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Here is my take on food in Argentina, thoughts that I first posted on another forum:

I tend not to like restaurants that try to be "creative" , and I am especially wary of self-styled "fusion" bistros. There are much better examples of creative cuisine in other parts of the world.

Argentine food shines in the hands of an experienced chef or asador who chooses the best cuts of "free range" beef (sadly, a good bit of Argentine beef now comes from the feed lot instead of directly from the Pampas) or good cuts of lamb, chicken or salmon rosada and grills or bakes them without a lot of spices or sauces.

Excellent choices for sides...papas or, better yet, puree de calabaza. Local, fresh made pasta can be outstanding as well. I am fond of sorrentinos filled with cheese, for example.

For a starter (entrada) I lean toward cheese with olives or Spanish or Italian style cured ham in summer and empanadas or chorizo sausage at other times of the year (there are some surprisingly good pates in many parrillas around town as well but quality varies enormously). An eselada mixta with olive oil or caprese can also be good.

More often than not, I usually just get coffee for dessert...and it almost always comes with something sweet to nibble on. When my sweet tooth shouts for something more, Ricotta "cheese" cake, crepes with apples or dulce de leche or ice cream desserts usually sparkle...tiramasu varies but is excellent in the right places.

Most of the truly wretched meals I have had in Argentina have come from restaurants where the "chef" is trying too hard to be creative and failing miserably in the process--salads slathered in some inedible sauce or another rather fresh greens adorned with olive oil and a little salt or pasta in some "fussy" sauce instead of more traditional sauces.

Frequenting restaurants known for carefully choosing good cuts of local meat and produce and preparing them in traditional ways will almost always produce a better result than going to a restaurant trying too hard to be something it is not...(there are some remarkable exceptions to this rule....but they are just that-exceptions).

I agree with the list of restaurants to avoid...most everywhere in Puerto Madero (except maybe Happening or La Parolaccia, especially for lunch) and La Cabana de las Lilas and La Cabana....overpriced...
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 03:09 PM
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okay - point(s) taken

I will find out for myself soon enough !
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 12:34 AM
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A couple of examples of places to go....

Social Paraiso, Palermo Soho
La Parolaccia, Palermo (fixed price lunch is reasonably priced)
Sotto Voce, Recoleta
1880 Parrilla, San Telmo
El Mirasol, Recoleta
Oviedo, Recoleta
Dora, downtown
Dominga, Palermo Hollywood
La Cabrera, Palermo Soho
El Preferido, Palermo Soho (do not expect great decor, just good food).

Several of the above are

Avoid any restaurant that promises fusion food without a specific positive recommendation. If you must eat trendy, try Azema Exotic in Palermo Hollywood.

Avoid restaurants in Puerto Madero without a specific recommendation. If you must eat in Puerto Madero, try Happening.

Avoid restaurants on "restaurant row" in Recoleta without a specific recommendation. If you must eat here, try Munich...
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 12:36 AM
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"Several of the above are pricey"...sorry, I did not finish my sentence and there is no edit function. sigh....
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 04:26 AM
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When we were visiting BA for the first time, and when we moved here, I always went to drdawggys list on the top of the page at TripAdvisor. I really value his opinions.
And so agree with Not going to that row of restaurants along the strip that starts with Cafe Biela and ends with Lola. The drugstore there is good though : - )
And sitting outside at Aroma can be fun ( especially if you have a dog, Biela does not allow dogs outside..harrumph !)

drdawggy, instead of edit, you just click on Preview in the blue box and edit yourself then hit submit
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 08:59 AM
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Thanx for the list and the warnings!

It is 44 here in Seattle and hasn't stopped raining for days -SO LOOKING forward to this trip. Food, wine, shopping - SUNSHINE!
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 01:07 PM
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Not__enuf, we were in Seattle back in March....80 degrees and sunny....we felt blessed....

We bought an entire meal at Whole Foods, including a great bottle of Washington state wine, and ate on the balcony of our hotel room...whooo...

If you love wine and food, you will love Argentina!
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 01:34 PM
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I have had many a dinner from Whole Foods! (or as we like to call it, Whole Paycheck . Where did you stay when you were in Seattle?

I am planning on eating and drinking myself silly in Argentina! And, despite some lukewarm reviews of Mendoza, I am looking forward to ending the trip on a pampered, indulgent note (2 days of wine touring and Bodega lunches and an all-day horse back ride w/ asado lunch).

Just got my yellow fever, flu, tetanus, hep a, typhoid oh my! Oh, and they threw in a measles booster for good measure!
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 03:08 AM
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We stayed at the Residence Inn, Lake Union, and took the street car when we needed to go downtown. We felt like locals.

I look forward to reading your trip report.....
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 07:25 AM
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Thats a nice place to stay. I am a local, haven't taken the street car yet
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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What is the deal with reservations at these restaurants? We have a reservation at La Cabana de las Lilas (although reading this makes me rethink this). Do we need reservations at other restaurants we want to try...for example Don Julio or others listed on drdawggy's post.

We are leaving for our Honeymoon in Argentina on Tuesday and only in BA for 3 days (before heading to Patagonia then Mendoza).
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 09:49 AM
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dmgriffin:

You can find much better restaurants, at various price ranges, in the list above. La cabana de las Lilas is an overpriced tourist trap restaurant in a town with fabulous other choices - IMO. You might also check out :
OLEO GUIDE http://www.guiaoleo.com.ar/index.php

You can make a reservation the day before if it is a special place or occasion, but generally, the same day, if at all, is OK for reserving.

Have a wonderful honeymoon.

~MarnieWDC
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 10:32 AM
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Super! Thank you so much! Now I just have to tell my dear fiance that I want to change his plans...and the marriage begins....
I appreciate your response.

Thanks!
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Don't misunderstand us, dmgriffin. Cabaña las Lilas is a very good restaurant. However, is IS overpriced and quite touristy.

Have a great honeymoon in our country.
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 01:56 PM
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I would also say that there are some quite good "fusion" or "creative" restaurants here. While you can make a case for shining away as a parrilla, there is certainly more to Argentine cuisine than steak. Azema, Pura Tierra, Urondo, Los Milagros (formerly Almanza), Maat, and many others are all great places to dine.
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 03:42 PM
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But I only have five days I need an extra stomach like a cow

Are there decent alfajores in the airport? I want some AS SOON as I land!!

Where is everyones favorite pizza? And gnocci, I loooove gnocci........... Oh so much to eat, so little time...........
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 02:19 AM
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http://www.havanna.com.ar/

The above is the best-known brand and they sell them at the airport.

However, remember that whatever is sold at the airport costs more than elsewhere and this could also be the case with these "alfajores".

I like http://www.pizzacero.com.ar/index.php but it's a matter of taste, not everyone prefers their thin-crusted variety of pizza.

I totally agree with drdawggys's "I tend not to like restaurants that try to be 'creative' , and I am especially wary of self-styled 'fusion' bistros."

If you are a tourist and particularly if you are here for a short time, I strongly suggest sticking to the food we are famous for.

Such as: http://www.elsanjuanino.com/

Have a great time in our country.
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