Argentina: Where Steaks are an Art Form

“Argentina may be a vegetarian’s nightmare, but it is heaven for dedicated carnivores.”

Ask anyone who has visited the country, Argentineans take immense pride in their beef. To try some of this heavenly meat in Argentina, search for a Parilla (a grill or barbecue house). An Argentinean restaurant is considered to have good meat if it has an Asador- an “open fire of glowing coals around which a number of vertical metal crosses hold carcasses of goat, lamb and pork meat,” thus look for this feature before sitting down.

Also take notice if the steak house you enter shares a presence with an enormous stuffed bull; this will let you know if the restaurant is at par excellence.

Whether you dine out or visit someone, be aware that eating in Argentina is different than in most parts world. International style restaurants open around eight or eight-thirty p.m. and diners often start up at around nine or ten p.m. closing by midnight or later.

“A typical Parrilla meal will begin with Empanadas — small, meat-filled pastry pockets that are the traditional starters, followed by a bewildering choice of side-salads that accompany the grills.” At the finest restaurants in Argentina, the selection of salads is enormous. La Chacra in Buenos Aires has 24 salad varieties to choose from.

As for ordering the beef, the large variety of local cuts may make you feel like your eyes are bigger than your stomach. To help narrow down the selection, here is some advice:

The finest cut of beef is usually Bife de Lomo (Eye Cutlet) and usually the most expensive, but to go with the people’s choice, try Bife de Chorozo. It is a steak cut off the rib and similar to Sirloin or Porterhouse. If you’re starving, consider the Bife de Costilla; its enormous and compares with the T-bone. Furthermore, Rib Roast, known as Tira de Asado, is the second most popular cut with Porteños (natives). When grilled on the spit, this cut will be thick and short, and if cooked on the char-grill it will be thinner and longer.

Finally, no Argentinean meal is complete without some red wine. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to indulge a little; Argentineans are the fifth largest wine producers in the world!

Source: by Walter and Cherie Glaser
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