After an 11 hour coma to recover from our travel day, we were ready for an adventure. We’d heard about the Sunday market at San Telmo but the scope of it was way beyond our expectations.
It’s a mixture of antiques, performance artists, musicians, and locally made arts and crafts. Every five minutes we’d walk past someone with a basket of delicious smelling empanadas and there seemed to be talented musicians on every street corner. This gentleman was serenading passersby with beautiful love songs from another era.
For lunch we went to La Brigada, a recommendation from the concierge at our hotel. It’s a lively four level Argentine restaurant with mostly Spanish speaking diners and a penchant for soccer jerseys and scarves. The first thing that hit us when we sat down was the aroma of seared meat and Elliott spied a juicy steak being served to our neighbors. Game on.
There were at least 15 different options for cuts of steak and we decided to split the ‘Tapa de Ojo de Bife’, translated as top of rib eye. Curiously, the waiter arrived with an enormous steak on a metal platter and a spoon in his apron. What happened next came straight out of a foodie’s wet dream: the waiter cut our steak in half with the edge of a spoon. It really was that tender. They never asked us how we liked it cooked because they clearly know what they’re doing. Paired with a plate of ‘Papas Fritas Provenzal’ (fries tossed in garlic and parsley), it was perfection.
We weaved our way through the mile long packed market to Plaza de Mayo. We had seen signs of a protest taking place on our way to the market but didn’t expect to see the massive square filled with Porteños of all ages. The atmosphere was totally peaceful with participants rhythmically bobbing to Reggae-inspired Latin hip-hop. The scene of the blue and white flags framed against the Casa Rosada was stunning.
After our long march home, we opted for a simple meal with the few ingredients we’d accumulated during our two days here. We call it ‘Tomat-a-Trois.’ Our dinner consisted of a caprese salad, pasta with a simple marinara and the true star, a home-made crostini. We’d found a great little salumerie down the street from our hotel where we’d picked up some of the best salami we’ve ever had as well as some olives, fontina, and a demi baguette. Here’s what we threw together:
Tapenade de Junin
Fresh baguette, sliced on the bias
Sun-dried tomatoes, re-hydrated and diced
Cured olives, chopped
Salt & pepper
You can toast the bread if you like but we chose not to and they still turned out great.