The Pink House, The Obelisk, and The Chocolate Box. Where am I, Vegas?
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
September 25th, 2007 – by: trhoades
Breakfast in BA must be done right. That means sitting down at a cafe, ordering from a waiter, taking your time, and enjoying it. No Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts in sight. Coffee is served European style, from the press. Add a few medialunas (croissants), and that's all you need. It's a simple breakfast, served in the same fashion all across the city.
After the first of seven identical breakfasts we had in BA, we headed straight for La Boca. Birthplace of Tango, La Boca is an old immigrant neighborhood down by the riverside. It equates roughly with the Lower East Side in New York, thought it's bright, multi-colored buildings tend to liven the place up. Honestly, we thought it was a fairly overrated tourist trap if it weren't for its legendary soccer stadium. La Bombonera (the chocolate box), is one of the great cathedrals of the beautiful game, and home to Boca Juniors. Part Wembley, part Fenway, part San Quentin, La Bombonera appeals to all senses (whether you want it to or not).
For lunch, we headed to another older part of town, San Telmo. At a restaurant called El Desnivel, we were introduced to two other great Argentine food inventions. First, the matambrito de cerdo, which is a pork flank steak. Though it really just tastes like a thin, salty pork chop. Second, the legendary provoleta. Provoleta is a provolone cheese, only, you guessed it, grilled on the parrilla. No bread, no butter, it is quite literally a grilled cheese. It's hard rind on the outside protects it from the heat while the whole thing melts on the inside. It's as if someone tasted provolone cheese and said: "Wow, this tastes good! The only thing that would make it better is if it were grilled".
Not much to see in San Telmo (another tourist trap) so we moved on to a famous BA landmark, the Casa Rosada (pink house). The US has the White House, Argentina has the Pink House. See what I mean about this place being slightly tongue in cheek? Evita and Juan Peron used to hold court at the Casa Rosada, and it's still a presidential residence today, right in the middle of downtown. It doesn't look anything like it did in Evita (my only image of it before arriving in BA). There were also legions of riot police in position behind the barricades, waiting for all hell to break loose.
The final landmark of the day was El Obelisco (the obelisk).
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!