La Cabrera and Cafe San Juan, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is the one city where it’s possible to go around the world in 8 blocks; one minute you’re on Peru, then next United States, then Sicilly. Walking down the more bohemian quarter of Palermo, gazing through the vast array of boutique stores with all manner of pretty things for sale, I finally found La Cabrera, a highly regarded purveyor of local and traditional cuisine. I was told, however, that they were closed for a private function, but that I could still get some lunch at their sister restaurant – one that was 4 doors down from them! It goes without questioning, that having two restaurants serving the same menu side by side is marginally indicative of its popularity. Once again, a menu with all manner of meat was flashed before me, as was a lengthy wine list that luckily had a few wines available by the carafe, but it wasn’ t quite meat that I was after on this occasion and I soon spotted my next victim.

Dips
Lamb
Desserts

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A little selection of guacamole, butter and pepper salsa to go with bread is always a sign of good things to come!

Lambs intestines, accompaniments (marinated semi-dried tomatoes, onions, capers, mustard). What fun little bites these were. Crispy on the outside, slightly chewy, yet creamy on the inside. A squeeze of lemon is definitely needed.

Spotting a dessert degustacion on the menu, my thoughts ran towards a plate of dainty desserts numbering in their multiples. Yet when I ordered it, the waiters laughed, saying it was for 4 people and maybe I should have a half portion, to which I agreed. This here, is what they call a half portion! Full sized caramel custard with a dollop of ducle de leche, tiramisu, chocolate ‘volcano’ (fondant), milk ice cream with berry compote. The waiters subsequently had a hearty laugh as they saw my face drop and continued to laugh throughout my brave endeavour to finish as much as possible. After a while I started falling into a coma and started to laugh at myself for having eyes bigger than my stomach. Nevertheless, the waiters and I enjoyed a good rapport and a great laugh, but I was still had to give in! As if to reward me for my efforts. I was presented with a glass of sparkling Malbec and……………a plate of chocolates!

What followed, was a five hour walk across the city (approximately 80 blocks) and a dinner-less evening!

Overall experience: 8
Food: 7
Recommend you go: 8
Website

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The neighbourhood of San Telmo is the only place you want to be on a Sunday with its market being something of a legend where entire streets are taken over by street vendors selling their wares from jewellery to leather to skirts, pipes and massages. Being Latin America, music is never far behind and there are scores of street drummers marching up and down the roads with a host of dancers on each end swaying to their infectious rhythm. In short, you could spend a whole day just wandering about, nibbling on street food, nipping into a bar or cafe, or two, shaking a hip and living the Latino life! When at the end of the day, a ravenous hunger creeps up on you, along comes Cafe San Juan. Bright and colourful with a few tables set out on the street and the only menu comes by way of two blackboards with the days dishes chalked across it – there’s one for tapas and one for main courses. Not being able to decide what might tickle my fancy I only had to ask the waiter what the house special was to be directed immediately to the conejo (rabbit).

Rabbit

Rabbit, ham polenta, tomatoes, olives . Bit of leg, bit of saddle, perfectly cooked all mopped up with a zingy and light rabbit broth of semi dried tomatoes, olives and parsley. A bit of crispy ham polenta to dip into the sauce makes it all a clean plate in the end!

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Overall experience: 7
Food: 7
Recommend you go: 7


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