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Food and restaurants in Buenos Aires

Turkey (Pavo) in Buenos Aires

With Thanksgiving just recently passed, I thought it would be good to recap some of our experiences with finding turkey (pavo) in Buenos Aires.

While it is true that the many varieties of sliced turkey that us Americans love (roasted, smoked, honey roasted, pepper-cracked, etc.) as well as ground turkey, are not available in Buenos Aires, I’m happy to report that it is possible to find good turkey here while avoiding the slimy sliced lunch meat version they have in some supermarkets here.

Around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we learned that most of the major supermarkets carry frozen turkeys. They are typically called “pavitas” and are smaller birds than their North American counterparts.  They’re easy to cook in the smaller ovens here and tend to be quite tasty.

If you’re looking for a true turkey (pavo), then we found a great butcher that specializes in turkey year-round. La Granja Converso Delicateses carries organic turkey from Cordoba and will deliver them to your home. We purchased two 11kg (24 lb) birds from them and they were great!  The perfect Thanksgiving dinner.

As a final note, Valenti, which is a chain of delicatessens, carries fresh roasted turkey that you can buy sliced. They also make a good turkey sandwich to go – something that is almost impossible to find here.


The Quest for Sushi Continued

I’ve previously written about the travails of finding good sushi in Buenos Aires, which included having a tuna roll made from canned tuna and really only liking one or two places we tried (Osaka being one). Plus, I still cannot understand the Argentine fascination with putting cream cheese in just about every roll they make.

Still, one of the benefits of being here for a longer time is the ability to hear about good experiences and try new places. Recently we tried two – Itamae Sushi and SushiPhone.

Itamae Sushi is a large chain with thirteen locations in Capital Federal. I was pretty sure I had been at least once before and liked it, but couldn’t really remember, so we decided to try it for dinner delivery last week. All I can say is – I must have a bad memory. The sushi was bland, the rice too compacted and it arrived much colder than sushi should be eaten at. I was expecting a lot more, especially for the price. What a disappointment. We have now crossed this one off our list for good, which is too bad as it’s right around the corner from us.

Sushi Phone on the other hand does not have any physical locations and only takes orders by phone (pretty clever with their name, huh?). We found out about them through a 50% off discount on FullExit, which offered 40 pieces of sushi for $56. We placed our order not expecting much, but figuring the discount made it worthwhile. When the sushi arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. Even though a lot of the rolls did contain cream cheese, they were flavorful and well-balanced. The fish was fresh and the combinations were creative. I would rank this as one of the top places I have tried so far (much better than Sushiclub for example). The only drawback was that it took about an hour and forty-five minutes for the food to arrive, so be sure to plan in advance. I also wish I had ordered more than just one coupon!

So, here is a shortlist of my acceptable sushi places (the ones I can remember at least): Osaka, Sushi Phone, Dashi, Jardín Japonés, Benihana (nothing special, but their menu ejectivo is a great deal), and To Sushi.

Any other suggestions?


The Best Salsa in Buenos Aires

I’m happy to report that you can now buy some amazing Mexican salsa in Buenos Aires! The recently launched El Tejano is hand-making and delivering jars of salsa to Palermo, Belgrano and Recoleta. Just remember their slogan, “It’s a salsa, not a hot sauce.”

Started by expat Larry Rogers, he spent months perfecting his recipe before launching El Tejano to the public. He now makes over 8 liters a week and is delivering 50+ bottles a month, including supplying all the salsa to El Alamo.  All the salsa is made from only the freshest ingredients, and he has three levels of spice: 1, 2 and 3. He has been gradually making the #3 hotter and hotter based on feedback from a higher concentration of expats than he originally anticipated. You can choose 6oz for $10, 12oz for $15 or 20oz for $20. (I strongly recommend the largest size.)

Now, coming from the Midwest, I really only used salsa on nachos and Mexican food, but I can say that I have been pleasantly surprised by how good his salsas are and how versatile they can be.  It’s a nice change to add some flavor to empanadas, milanesas, meat pie, etc. I even ordered from California Burrito Company, and told them to hold the salsa so that I could use my own El Tejano stock. Plus, it’s great on nachos!

The only problem… it goes too fast. I have been buying three 20oz jars and finding that it does not last me two weeks. Laura (Argentine and adverse to much spice) has even been using it as much as me, though she prefers the #2 while I love the flavor of the #3.

Check out their web site and get your order in now before the demand is too high…

Also, if you’re looking for authentic Mexican tortillas, check out Las Tortillas de Pancho Villa. While I have not yet had a chance to try them out, a lot of people are raving about them. Plus, I imagine they go great with the salsa too.


Buenos Aires Restaurant Delivery

New to Buenos Aires and don’t speak much/any Spanish?  Want to order delivery but feeling a bit afraid of having a phone conversation?  Well, Buenos Aires Delivery can help you with that.

The recently launched web site provides restaurant menus for over 80 Buenos Aires restaurants in 20 different neighborhoods, with additional restaurants being added each week.  In addition to providing updated menus in both Spanish and English, you can place your order online, thus assuaging your fears of having to make a call in your broken Spanish.

And, even if you speak Spanish perfectly, the site offers the opportunity to find some new places that deliver to your apartment and browse through their menus. They have some great maps clearly showing the delivery area of each restaurant.

This is a service that I desperately wish that I had when I first moved to Buenos Aires and didn’t speak a word of Spanish. I was limited to ordering from Romario because they were the only restaurant that had online ordering at the time. Luckily they were also good, but I’d recommend giving Buenos Aires Delivery a try today and you won’t be limited to ordering pizza and empanadas like I was!