Tag Archives: Argentina travel

The BEST steak in Buenos Aires??

DSC_5212Returning to Buenos Aires, for me is like visiting an old friend. This will be my sixth visit and I very much hope, not my last. Its a wonderful city to explore or simply sit in a pavement cafe sipping torrontes and people watching.

No visit to Buenos Aires, or indeed Argentina would be complete without sampling one of their world famous steaks, or if you are me, several of them!!! Paired with a delicious glass of Malbec, there are few better meals!

For this visit to Buenos Aires, The Argentine Experience was recommended to me. I was unsure at first, as I often like to be a bit more independent and do my own thing in the evenings, but when they told me they served up the best steak in Buenos Aires, I had to check it out. And I’m VERY pleased I did!

This great night out started as a pop up restaurant in a flat in Recoleta, before some outside investment helped set it up in its permanent home in Palermo Hollywood.

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Not a bad first attempt

The Argentine Experience was set up to give it’s guests just that. Over the evening the lively hosts teach you how to make empanadas, alfajores, mate tea and how to order the perfect steak. This is all swilled down with copious glasses of vino and bags of personality. Sat on big tables and dressed in ridiculous chef hats and aprons, its a great way to make friends too. A real bonus as I was travelling alone.

Making empanadas was great fun and definitely something I will do when I get home.  I think I mastered the thumb and finger twist and then I even managed to win the novelty empanada making contest 🙂

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My winning empanada

The hosts are a mixture of Argentines and Brits, which gives the night an international twist. And its interesting to hear a foreigners interpretation of Argentine culture and how they have adopted it into their lives. The hand gesture classes were a very amusing highlight.

The best steak I have EVER had!
The best steak I have EVER had!

The main event though was, of course, the steak. Reared in the Pampas and allowed the reach the proper maturity, unlike many steaks in Buenos Aires apparently. This was like no other steak I had tasted! Perfect salted crust and perfectly medium-rare in the middle! Worth the 16 hour flight alone!

Now, very full and maybe a little tipsy, it was time for the mate tea. This, as our host Alex told us, was a true picture of Argentine culture and typically a group of Argentines would sit and share one cup between a large group.

How to shake off the mate dust..
How to shake off the mate dust..

There is very much a certain etiquette to follow, starting with a kettle that heats the water to exactly 80 degrees! Our host then showed us exactly how to use the bombilla (straw) and how moving it is a definite no no! One should only say thank you when you have had enough mate, which was obvious a difficult one to follow as a typical Brit!

Next came the alfajores (how I managed to fit it all in, I don’t know!DSC_5227

In my experience, dolce de leche is very difficult to resist!

All in all it, was a great night out. Yes it is a night aimed at tourists, but that’s not a negative thing and I came away having learnt something new about Argentina, despite my many visits and I think I’ll remember that steak forever!

You can book this night out as part of Chimu Adventures’ create your own adventure in Buenos Aires: www.chimuadventures.com/country/argentina

 

 

The beautiful game- Boca style

Credit Maxisport  Shutterstock.com
Credit Maxisport Shutterstock.com

As a Brit, I know only too well about the fanaticism surrounding football. I have been lucky enough to attend a few matches in Latin America and I have to say, NOTHING prepares you for the experience! It’s an absolute must for any sports fan visiting this part of the world!

In this post Chimu Adventures consultant and football fanatic Karel Topic describes his amazing experience at a Boca Juniors match in Buenos Aires.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been football mad! So, when I spent a few days in Buenos Aires, I couldn’t pass up on the chance to see a traditional South American match. I had to see the electric atmosphere that everyone describes for myself!

Credit meunierd / Shutterstock.com
Credit meunierd / Shutterstock.com

Boca Juniors is easily the biggest club in Argentina. They are one of the most successful and once the home of legendary and infamous Diego Maradona – still one of their biggest fans.

Sunday evening is the time when all true Boca Junior fans congregate at the colossal La Bombonera stadium in the La Boca suburb of Buenos Aires. It truly is a sight to be seen! Everywhere you look people are adorned with the club colours; yellow and blue.

Caught up in atmosphere and excitements of the day, I suddenly realised I didn’t have a penny on me. There were no cash machines and couldn’t pay by card for my tickets! Imagine my dismay faced with the prospect of missing this experience of a lifetime!

I must have looked pretty desperate, as I wondered around trying desperately to figure out what to do. A Dutch guy stopped and asked me if I was OK.  I explained my sorry situation. To my shock, but overwhelming relief, he took pity on me and said he would buy me a ticket! I couldn’t believe his generosity or my luck!

He bought us both a ticket and we were game on!!

As I entered the ground, I stopped to take it all in.  The stadium was enormous!  Brightly coloured blue and yellow with steep seating along the sides, it has capacity for 50.000 spectators. The game I attended was Boca Juniors vs Gymnasium and had roughly 35000 spectators. No one seemed to care that Boca aren’t doing too well this season, the fans were going crazy. The standing areas were completely full of fanatical fans , who started singing a good 30 minutes before kick-off. The atmosphere was amazing during the whole match; fans sang without stopping and soon after the opening goal the vibe was so intense, that without realising I became a Boca fan too. The pride was almost palpable as Boca scored their fourth goal of the day.

At the end of the game there was a big celebration which spilled out into the streets as the fans reveled in their victory. It was a wonderful thing to be part of. I can’t think of anywhere better to experience true Argentinean passion! I now feel like a true Boca fan and I’ll certainly be arranging my next trip around the home games!

And the end of the story? Next day I went and found the Dutch man in his hotel and paid him back for my ticket.

For more on Argentina visit http://www.chimuadventures.com/country/argentina or contact Chimu UK: uk@chimuadventures.com