Gauchos Grill Restaurant The Hague Reviews
Holy Cow, what a steak! Apr 22, 2008
In the Netherlands we have an expression for when you’re having a big appetite. One would say, “I could eat an entire cow”. Let me tell you, at Gauchos you can…
First, a little history
‘Gauchos’ is a chain of Argentinean grill restaurants, thirteen of them in the Netherlands, ten in the UK, although they spell it without the ‘s’ at the end. It all began back in the late 1970’s with one restaurant in Amsterdam. After opening, the organisation expanded rapidly, first in Amsterdam and soon after in The Hague. That is when I came in contact with Gauchos for the first time. Although I was just a little boy, I could handle a T-bone steak without blinking my eyes :)
Unfortunately, as it so often goes with rapidly expanding chains, Gauchos too strayed of the right path. In the early 90’s their formula had evolved to pre-packed vacuum-sealed entrees and when you asked for some bread, not only did you have to pay for it separately, it also came with butter in a little plastic cup of which you had to tear the aluminium seal off yourself. :( Therefore, it must have been a decade ago I was last seen in a Gauchos restaurant.
However, after a long day of museum hopping only a few days ago, both my wife and I felt like steak. For sentimental reasons, I suggested we’d try Gauchos again. Boy, were we in for a surprise.
Upon entering the restaurant I noticed the interior and deco hadn’t changed a bit since my last visit. Only the bar had changed position but other than that, the place still looked like an Argentinean ranch. Lots of sturdy dark wood, cowhides on the seats and benches, scarcely lit booths, it all adds to an intimate atmosphere. The open grill was still in plain sight in the middle of the restaurant. We had made no reservation and as this was a Saturday night, we were happy they would accommodate us with a table as long as we assured them we would be out of there before eight o’clock. Since we arrived pretty early, we had no problem with that.
Drinks were ordered swiftly and the menus came in a jiffy. Hey, whatta you know, they now have fish on the menu too. I am sorry to say the bread is still not included, but it now comes with a choice of tapanade or garlic butter and not in a plastic cup anymore :)
The last time I ate a T-bone was in … well, let’s just say ‘at least two decades ago’ ;) Over the years, we have cut back on our meat intake and nowadays we don’t eat more than 100 grams if we do have meat at all. However, at Gauchos the smallest steak on the menu began at 225 grams. We therefore asked our waitress if we could split a steak. Fortunately, that could be arranged. Let me tell you, the steak was excellent! Pure, first class, prime cut, grilled to our linking and to perfection! Beautiful brown crust with ‘smoky’ flavour, without thinking you’re eating charcoal. Juicy, succulent meat, warm to the core, yet still red inside. HmmmHmmm, yummy, yummy, just the way I like it :)
From my previous experiences I remembered if you order steak, you only get steak. All the other components of your meal have to be ordered as a side dish. My wife ordered the baked potato with sour cream, I ordered French fries and green asparagus with garlic sauce. All of them were good. One critical note though. I ordered mayonnaise with my fries, but what they served was a low-fat, high on acidity, poor reference to mayo. A thick, whitish substance we (in the Netherlands) call ‘fries-sauce’. Alas, there goes their chance to score a perfect ten out of ten. To be honest, they already lost that chance by not having chopped chives in the sour cream for the baked potato.
Deserts, if any
My wife didn’t want to have desert and ordered a mint tea instead. I ordered ‘whiskey ice-cream out of the blender’. Unfortunately, the ice-cream turned out to be a milkshake, but my wife has me saying it is my own fault; I should’ve read the menu more carefully. ;) She on the other hand, got her tea with fresh mint leafs. So, she couldn’t be more happy.
To round it up
The steaks are heaven, the other food is good and the service is excellent! The prices are steep (except if you share a steak), but the steaks are worth every penny, nickel and dime. So, if you feel like having steak and you find yourself near a Gauchos (or in the UK, a Gaucho) restaurant, I’d definitely recommend you go there.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!