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Buenos Aires or Montevideo


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#1 Guest_Aaron T_*

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 03:59 AM

In particular I am looking for info about Buenos Aires. If anyone has any hotels to recommend that would be excellent.

I certainly want to try a steakhouse or two or three. Not sure what the best options are. Also not sure what other restaurants are of note.

I will probably be in BA for 4-5 nights, 2-3 nights solo and 2-3 nights with friends.

Gracias!

I have not seen Montevideo, Uruguay mentioned on these boards, so I am guessing that nobody has been lately.

#2 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 05:46 AM

Timely post for me, as I am also trying to plan a trip to Buenos Aires.

I ran into a former co-worker on the subway tonight, and a fellow passenger overheard me talking to him about BA. Turned out she had just come back from a stay there, and recommended this hotel in Palermo-Soho, which just happens to be the neighborhood I've centered in on in my research.

So there you have it, a recommendation from a stranger on a train, via an anonymous poster on the internet!

Seriously, I hope anyone with actual information will pipe up on this thread.
It is a pretty poem, Mr. Pope, but you must not call it Homer. -- Richard Bentley

#3 Silverbrow

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:38 AM

I hope I can help. I've spent a fair amount of time in BA as a tourist over the last year so got to know a few hotels etc.

This is a country that seems to be built on an obsession of ice-cream, meat, wine and jam.

On the food front, first for full disclosure I should say I can't comment on the parillas. I keep kosher so only ate parilla at a kosher restaurant - other than meat, i happily eat in any kind of restaurant. Which does allow me to say, that other than meat, the food isn't fantastic. That's not to say it's bad, it's just not blow your mind amazing.

IMO the food is more influenced by Italy than Spain. Given the Italian ancestry of so many people there, it almost seems to be luck that they speak Spanish rather than Italian.

Some of the best food we had was in Palermo Viejo. Olsen is that rarity, a Scandi restaurant in BA with some decent fish and a fantastic room. We also ate at Bar Uriarte for lunch, again lovely, wood fired ovens, interesting flavours. Uriarte is owned by the same people as Sucre, which is supposed to be 'the' restaurant in BA. We weren't impressed, it's a cool room, especially the wine cellar but food was middle ranging. For a quick sandwich lunch, try Mike's Bar, in Palermo Viejo, good sandwiches and salads. Just to stress, none of this will blow you away.

Drink lots of Argentinian red wine, it is filthy cheap and delicious.

Some of the best ice-cream I've ever had is at a place called Persicco. They are one of the smallest chains, but well worth seeking out. Proper gelato. More ubiquitous is Freddo which is fine but not great.

Bobo is a nice hotel, but when we stayed we had a complete nightmare. They had to change our sheets five times because they were dirty. Really really grim. We didn't stay at Home but it comes highly recommended. We did however stay at Faena, which is supposed to be the dogs bollocks of hotels. It is beautiful and there were lots of beautiful people but frankly it's rather overbearing, but staff are fantastic and it is great fun. It is slightly out of hte way, in the port, but seeing as you'll probably get cabs everywhere it's not such an issue.

We've stayed at the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt, which was our favourite. A beautiful old building connected to a much more modern strucutre courtesy of a tunnel under manicured lawns. A great mix of elegant and modern design. It's in Recoleta, the BA equivalent of UES or Mayfair.

We spent a couple of nights at Art Hotel. This was great, beautiful art and elegant rooms, but they are small so don't stay too long or with too much luggage, but really beautiful.

Finally we stayed at Cesar Park, which is nice but functional, nothing special.

I strongly recommend the Time Out guide to BA.

A bit on my blog about our time there.

Got to dash now but will come back and post more if you find it helpful, especially on food.

#4 nuxvomica

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 02:58 PM

love BA, it's a great city. hoping to go back next year. Aaron, it should be a great, fun trip. hotels: we stayed at Bobo (linked to in SM's post) and liked it. Faena is just how Silverbrow describes it. Palermo Soho is a good option if you are looking for nightlife - lots of places for drinks.

restaurants: we liked Sucre (great patagonian lamb), Olsen was very interesting but i ate little as i was recovering from a food poisoning in Chile the day before; Central for casual (modern eclectic) eats and drinks. for steak, we really liked Cabana Las Lilas in Puerto Madero, despite being vilified for its tourist prices on CH & eG, which to us were not high - the exchange rate was very favorable and the steak was fantastic. ask for muy jugoso for rare. the room was beautiful and you can sit outside as well, which is what we did. btw, a pair of vegetarians had a meal at the next table - the menu is big and not just meat. they have a huge antipasti plate which they bring to the table as soon as you sit down - they do charge for it but it was full of tasty bits and not expensive. lots of great wines everywhere.

drinks - here are some recs from food writer friends, we have not been to all: Central (Palermo Viejo), Milion (Barrio Norte) - apparently it's gorgeous old mansion and Mundo Bizarro (Palermo Hollywood, near Bobo hotel).

San Telmo market on Sunday is a must. street food could be interesting to explore, although there was some boring leaden bread filled with cheese too.

potentially interesting option - one of those private restaurants at home of former AZ/Veritas/Felidia sommelier Dan Perlman and former chef. (i used to work with Dan at Felidia but he moved there after our visit two years ago so we have not tried it ourselves.) you can find out more here: Casa SaltShaker - 5 course dinner for about $20?
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#5 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 03:17 PM

But remember that SaltShaker (who seems to be a great guy) was the guy I had that big fight about Las Lilas with on eG. So if you wanna go to his place, keep mum about Las Lilas.
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#6 Silverbrow

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 03:21 PM

Just remembered one other thing, go to a milonga. They are basically tango dances that the locals go to. Much much better than the shitty, touristy crap shows that predominate, especially in San Telmo. They normally start at about 11pm and finish at 3. We went to one on our last night and it was amazing. We can't dance so sat and watched. Great atmosphere and as far as I could tell, we were the only non Argentinian tourists.

Can't remember the name of the place we went to, will post when I remember/go home and find out.

#7 nuxvomica

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 03:28 PM

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ Oct 18 2007, 03:17 PM) View Post
But remember that SaltShaker (who seems to be a great guy) was the guy I had that big fight about Las Lilas with on eG. So if you wanna go to his place, keep mum about Las Lilas.

that's hilarious. i'm going to have to look that one up. i rarely look at eG so i have no recollection of any details but i remember some (newly minted, huh?) portenos grumbling about las lilas. like i said, i used to work with the guy, hee hee, i can only imagine that "big fight" laugh.gif
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#8 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:00 PM

I went to a milonga at the Ideal. It was GREAT.
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#9 jib

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 10:35 PM

I was in Buenos Aires about this time last year and had a great dinner at El Trapiche in Palermo Vieho. Its filled with locals, looked like lots of families, and is a real traditional parilla. We ate way too much food there - started with anchovies, onion and tomatoes, blood sausage, chorizo and salads and then moved on to the steaks and fries. All excellent and a wonderful atmosphere - the perfect experience I thought.

There was plenty of other good dining, I'll have to think back though to remember some other stops in BsAs and post again. We stayed at the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt and it was every bit as nice as Silverbrow said, it just opened last year and is probably one of the best, if not the best, of the high end hotels.

#10 Guest_Aaron T_*

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 01:55 AM

Thanks for the advice. I head off tomorrow and will take good notes to post upon my return. Sooner if I get good internet access.

I decided to save dough and stay at the Art Hotel for 4 nights. Should be "cozy" but as one person I can handle a smallish room. Am using Starwood points to stay at the Sheraton in Montevideo and the Sheraton resort at Iguazu Falls, the only hotel in the park (on the argentinian side) I believe.

I have heard that Argentines dress up. What is expected dress to go out to dinner at one of the nice parillas or a place like Sucre etc ? Muchas gracias. smile.gif

#11 jib

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 11:27 AM

We dressed casual and I don't think I wore a jacket once on the trip, but it wouldn't be out of place in the more upscale places.

#12 Silly Disciple

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 11:47 AM

QUOTE(Aaron T @ Oct 26 2007, 01:55 AM) View Post
Thanks for the advice. I head off tomorrow and will take good notes to post upon my return. Sooner if I get good internet access.

I decided to save dough and stay at the Art Hotel for 4 nights. Should be "cozy" but as one person I can handle a smallish room. Am using Starwood points to stay at the Sheraton in Montevideo and the Sheraton resort at Iguazu Falls, the only hotel in the park (on the argentinian side) I believe.

I have heard that Argentines dress up. What is expected dress to go out to dinner at one of the nice parillas or a place like Sucre etc ? Muchas gracias. smile.gif


Jeans and shirt is fine for places like Sucre, Thymus, Nectarine, MAAT, etc. As a matter of fact I can't think of a place you would need a jacket, but it won't be out of place if you decide to wear one.
my blog is back, come take a peek at the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

#13 Guest_Aaron T_*

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 06:07 PM

Got to Montevideo yesterday and began my stay with an excellent lunch. Went to the Mercado del Puerto (port market) which is near the port and is an old building made into a complex of asador restaurants, specializing in grilled meat. The ones inside tend to have stools at counters, where you can watch the beef, chicken and sausages (chorizo and morcilla are both very popular here) being cooked. My friends and I ate at probably the best and nicest restaurant in the complex which had both indoor and outdoor seating and waiter service. I ordered the ¨baby beef.¨ it was about $20 for a huge portion of excellent steak. I asked for it to be cooked jugoso (rare) and it came out nicely charred on the outside and very red n the inside. Flavorful meat. Fries were good too. Also ortdered a portion of tortilla espanola (served cold). because of the price i thought it would be small and so 2 of us ordered this dish. the portion was enormous and i did not do it justice. We ordered a bottle of medio y medio, a mix of sparkling wine and white wine that is very popular here. refreshing.

Then went inside the main hall and got a local beer Pilsen, which came in a 1 liter bottle. after drinking the beer we got a variety of medio y medio that uses red wine insted of white and it was less sweet than the white version and better tasting in my opinion. the inside of the hall reminded me of grnd central market in la, if they sold beer there and also a little bit of fanuiel hall but not so yuppified and all the restos kind of blended together here. The size of the grills was huge - quite a sight to see so many meats cooking over the flames. The Mercado was the best meal of the 3 I have had in Montevideo.

#14 Guest_Aaron T_*

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 12:34 AM

Montevideo:
I believe the name of the restaurant at the Mercado del Puerto is ¨El Palenque.¨ it is the only 2 story resto with outdoor seating.

For scenic value, ¨The Old Man and the Sea¨- el viejo y el mar, is on the rambla - the riverside street. we ate outside in a cabana like structure and had a mediocre food-wise (fine but just ok) but great ambiance lunch. relaxing. beautiful setting.

Best meal other than the baby beef at Palenque was at a restaurant called ¨Francis.¨ It is located in the Pocitos neighborhood and specializes in fish and seafood but serves a full menu. Website here. Excellent ambiance. service good. Lamb, Salmon, seafood paella, chicken and sushi were all ordered and everything was very good. Probably the best place for dinner in town.

The Francis website reminds me of something. There seem to be a lot of people in montevideo who earn their living by watching parked cars and directing people into and out of parking spaces. They all have vests and earn tips. they are not hired by the city or businesses but have each staked out their ¨turf.¨

Iguazu:
The falls are incredible- I highly recommend this sidetrip to anyone going to BA. It is a 2 hr flight. Take LAN if you can as Aerolineas was 2-3 hrs late in each direction when I went while LAN was on time. Stayed at the Sheraton which was excellent and was located right in the national park for easy access. Food at the Sheraton was just so-so. my fault for ordering the buffet at dinner. I was curious to try the rabbit (ok) and was too tired to sit through a 90 plus minute meal. I didn´t think the brazilain side of the falls was as spectacular as the argentine side.

#15 Silverbrow

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 07:02 PM

QUOTE(Aaron T @ Nov 1 2007, 12:34 AM) View Post
Iguazu:
The falls are incredible- I highly recommend this sidetrip to anyone going to BA. It is a 2 hr flight. Take LAN if you can as Aerolineas was 2-3 hrs late in each direction when I went while LAN was on time. Stayed at the Sheraton which was excellent and was located right in the national park for easy access. Food at the Sheraton was just so-so. my fault for ordering the buffet at dinner. I was curious to try the rabbit (ok) and was too tired to sit through a 90 plus minute meal. I didn´t think the brazilain side of the falls was as spectacular as the argentine side.


The food we had at the Sheraton was utterly utterly grim - the highlight being a jacket potato with sour cream. The rates at this place are daylight robbery for the room - although if you get a Falls view, you might argue it is priceless