Dinner was an empanada for starters, steak for main and a caramel flan for dessert. Classic Argentine, washed down by all you can drink Malbec wine. Perfecto! Incredible first dinner in BA! Two days of plane food were now history.
The four of us from Hostel Estoril were pretty confident in our tango moves until the Tango Show started. The three tango couples then proceeded to make our three moves mastered look embarrassingly amateur. We were in awe. I especially loved the outfits.
Although at $60 it was my entire daily budget (one night in my hostel was $18) this night was definitely worth it as an intro to Tango in BA. It felt authentic, with just the right amount of cheesiness. The added bonus was the bunch of older Brazilian teachers in our group who seemed to think Lars, Bianca, Nick and I were tango superstars and on jumping on and off the bus home gave us kisses, shook our hands, clapped and screamed. We loved it and proceeded to head up to the hostel bar to continue on the Malbec feeling like faux celebrities. A good idea until a few hours later I had to get up for an all day bike tour...
For me, when I travel, local food is as important as local museums. My thoughts on local food have come along way since I was 17 though, when I thought McDonalds McFlurries, different in each European country, were some kind of cultural experience...
When I first got to BA I was surprised at all the Italian food. Once I learnt that a lot of Argentines have Italian heritage, and someone told me where the best pizza was, I thought I could justify having something that wasn't steak or an empanada. Other than that (and one Peruvian restaurant), it was steak on the menu every day.
I was told to go to La Cabrera in Palermo for the best steak in town. I was not disappointed. I went with Vee, from the hostel, and between the two of us we paid less than $30 each for a huge meal and a bottle of Malbec. This was just lunch.
For dinner I was booked into the Argentine Experience. This was my leaving gift from work and was perfect for my last night in BA. Two days before, I had received an email from the company saying that a group of 18 rugby players from NZ had booked the same night and they hoped I didn't mind. I know it was optimistic thinking the All Blacks would do a huge meal and all you can drink dinner the night before playing the Pumas, but I still was a teeny tiny bit disappointed when they didn't show up! It was the self proclaimed Small Blacks, a team from Wellington, who were over for a couple of weeks to play and watch some rugby. And they were fun! Throughout the meal they played Freezeman, which meant the last one to freeze, once the Freezeman freezes, drinks. It wasn't before long that me and the Brazilian couple Bernadette and Fabio joined in. Throughout the evening we made empanadas (Meat pies. My pig didn't win the creative concert....), learnt about the Argentines body language (they talk with their hands), drunk a lot of Malbec, played Freezeman, and ate the best steak of my life. Leon, the owner of the Argentine Experience, told us how they make the steak. So, even though I'm not going to share the secret on here, I will be making steak for some lucky people when I get back to Melbourne!
After the haka, and me telling the team I knew the way to Plaza Serrano (we got there in the end), we eventually made it to a bar where more beers were had. Plaza Serrano, with a bunch of great kiwi blokes and their partners, was a perfect end to my BA stay.
While my time in BA is up, I´m heading back to Argentina in November, and am already looking forward to more Tango, Steak and Malbec.