Touristing Buenos Aires

We booked with the Poetry Building Hotel directly and managed a better deal than those available on the usual booking sites. Poetry has provided great additional information about their boutique hotel, things close by and useful transfer arrangements. There is no hassle getting to the hotel, staff are helpful, our apartment is cool and cute and there is even a gratis Malbec to welcome us. The Poetry is a charming place from the rooftop garden and pool to the well decorated and equipped apartments and common spaces. Location in Recoleta is great with lots of easy eats and a supermarket handy, and within walking or easy taxi distance of many city attractions. Currency is a nuisance in Argentina, Poetry helps, but a slightly better rate comparable to that obtainable in neighboring businesses would have been helpful. Recommended.

 

One of our first meals in BA was around the corner from the Poetry at the Gout restaurant as we were too tired to explore BA restaurant culture that night. The Gout Restaurant in Recoleta is explicitly gluten free. But we have not ventured into this strange world of freaky chemistry. Actually we rather like our breads and all that comes with wheaten products. But we see that Argentinean beef or lomo is on the menu, sounds good. And is amazingly good. The tenderness and great taste of Argentinean beef has woken us out of our jet lag stupor. These three small medallions of prime beef loin are a revelation, as is the price, not much at all. It looks like our carnivorous side is going to be well nourished in Argentina. One of the owners of Gout is actually coeliac, hence the preoccupation. And lots of “look at me” foodies seem to have made their way to Gout – the name relating to gourmet, rather than the consequences of auric acid. But why any non-coeliac would bother with the gluten free fare here is a mystery. The management has provided a cross-section of their gluten free products and they are universally terrible. We really feel sorry for coeliacs, the gluten free stuff is near inedible, but the beef is brilliant.

 

Most nights we make use of our apartment cooking facilities and the local supermarkets, but we do try out the occasional restaurant such as Vives Maria.

 

The locals recommend Vives Maria quite highly. It’s not a fancy place, basic furniture and service is a bit relaxed. Waitstaff have to duck under a bench to get to and from the kitchen. But there is no compromise with the steaks. They are perfectly cooked, tender and scrumptious, and accompanied by a delicious Argentinean Malbec. All is good in the world. Well worth a visit.

 

We don’t do much heavy touristing in Buenos Aires, mostly a bit of relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere. The tree lined streets and old buildings of Recoleta give it some charm, but the footpaths are full of holes and security is high – locked doors and doormen to all the buildings, and no one wears any jewelry at all. The dog population seems to be huge. Either solitary dogs with no apparent owner, or mobs of 10 or so being led around by professional dog walkers.

We visit the Recoleta outdoor market, which has a range of interesting goods, in particular leather goods and silver jewelry. No bargaining here though, prices are fixed, but you can find good value if you look.

We do take a bus tour around the city, which is an excellent way to see the main sights and learn some of the city’s history. The tour includes a lunch stop with a tango show, which suits us as we are not night owls and most tango shows start very late.

Leaving Buenos Aires, the next stop is the Iguazu Falls.

 

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