A (Monday) Night Out With a Local

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This is what a photo looks like when your battery dies in the middle of a shot…
or maybe Martin is just a figment of our imagination.
Last night we connected with a family friend and got a Porteño’s tour of the city. Martin was super friendly and as good a host as two touristas could hope for. He took us to dinner in Cañitas, a chic neighborhood just outside of Palermo. Even though Monday night is not the hot night to go out in Buenos Aires, the large restaurant was filled to capacity by 9:30. We told Martin that we love to eat so he took charge of ordering for the table. The first round consisted of some of the best chorizo we’ve tasted, grilled cheese with oregano, and a mystery meat that Carinn would like to keep that way. From what we could gather it came from the “other” category of a cow but was extremely tender and succulent.

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Martin was on a mission to fulfill our request for authentic, local food and shortly our table was covered with platters of food. For our main course, the waiter brought an enormous wooden plank that included a juicy rib-eye, fries with a sunny side-up egg, more grilled cheese, red pepper, onion, rice, and mashed butternut squash. After filling our bellies to way beyond capacity, it has become clear that Argentine cooking is all about using the grill to bring out the essence of fresh ingredients. Here a red pepper tastes like pepper and a steak tastes like beef.

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After a short walk and a tour, Martin took us out for dessert at Carlitos El Rey, his favorite spot for panqueques. Once again he did all the ordering and we weren’t disappointed. A cross between a crêpe and a pancake, the panqueque can be topped with a variety of sweet treats. We sampled one stuffed with bananas and dulce de leche and another topped with an obscene amount of ice cream, dulce de leche, chocolate and fruit. Martin was eager to take us to a second spot for ice cream, but even though we’re on vacation, we had to raise the white flag. Overall it was a perfect night out and we’re happy to have made a new friend. Maybe one day we can take Martin out for an equally filling tour of Seattle!

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