Originally published July 6, 2014 on mi amiga’s study abroad blog while we were in Argentina.
As I sit here in my host kitchen eating a slice of birthday torta, it occurred to me that what Hayley’s blog lacked is a critical view on various foods in the area.
1. Sandwich quest
The Hamburger: One of my first meals in Buenos Aires at a typical Argentine cafe set the precedent for my restaurant experiences for the rest of my stay here. I ordered a cafe con leche and a hamburger: first imagine my delight when my coffee came with “the works” (a vasito of seltzer, a tiny cookie) and then my bewilderment when my meal was a giant plate of fries, two patties, and a fried egg. If you didn’t catch it, the missing thing is a bun.
The Chivito: Then, I fell in love in Colonia. It’s a day-trip kind of place; there’s nothing to do there besides take a tour around the historic quarter of the city. But before embarking on said tour, we went for a quick bite at a tiny food stand, and ordered Uruguay’s national dish, the Chivito. Chivito means baby goat, but it’s made with beef, a fried egg, cheese, bacon, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, pickled peppers, peas, lettuce, tomato, and sometimes the beloved (but in my opinion, repulsive) olive. The sandwich haunted my saliva-frothed dreams for weeks after that trip, until I finally ordered one here in Buenos Aires. I was disappointed. Uruguayos do it better.
The Choripan: Having had success in the past with sandwiches filled kilometer-high with condiments, this butterflied-sausage on a roll seemed like a good idea to a hungry Saif and I. We only had to wait a few minutes for the $2 (USD) chorizo to cook on the grill and then had free reign with a huge table of condiments. I tried to put on every one, but Alicia (mom) and Kevin (dad) really were rushing us. It was pretty good, but there were grisly bits in my sausage and the bread couldn’t really hold the meat. I would go back again so I could actually put on every condiment.