Sunday Brunch At Olsen

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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It’s true that in the United States, we don’t have a singular culinary tradition or culture. In any given week, you eat meals derived from our many different immigrant influences. It is hardly rare to have Mexican food for lunch, and Chinese for dinner.

Because of this vast culinary diversity, I’ve struggled trying to explain American cuisine to foreigners. But after spending so much time in a culture with a very singular and strong culinary tradition and style, I’ve realized that Americans do have our own truly American meal tradition: Brunch.

Oh such a lovely word: brunch. It conjures up nostalgic and comforting feelings of waking up late on the weekends, and eating delicious breakfast foods with your family. Maybe while watching Saturday morning cartoons, maybe going to a restaurant after church – whatever the circumstances, brunch is the constant.

A combination of breakfast and lunch – brunch has the most scrumptious food options. Bagels and cinnamon rolls and coffee cake, scrambled eggs, fluffy omelets, fruit salad, crispy bacon or savory sausage, hashbrowns, coffees, juices…….Ahhh if there is but one bit of heaven in this life – it must certainly be brunch. So simple and constantly taken for granted, it wasn’t until I lost it that I realized how much I liked it.

Now I shan’t complain about the food in a country where the steak and pasta are so rich that the entire population refuses to eat anything else, but I will say, when it comes to brunch, Buenos Aires is sorely lacking. Since Argentines eat a very late and large dinner, usually around 10pm, they don’t wake up as hungry in the mornings. A normal breakfast is a coffee and some refined carbohydrate variation. Brunch is non-existent, or so I thought, until for the occasion of the visit of my friends’ parents, we went for brunch at Olsen in Palermo.

Hidden behind a wooden fence, Olsen is a Scandinavian oasis in the middle of the city. Behind this fence is a large courtyard, with vine covered brick walls, fountains and comfortable patio seating. The ambience is that of a personal home, quiet and comfortable, with funky yet understated 1960s-esque style furniture.

Inside the restaurant is an open-air dining room with high ceilings and a large fireplace in the center. The Scandinavian theme has been perfectly captured with the decorating scheme. You find yourself nostalgic for a time and place that you’ve never actually experienced aside from a trip to Ikea.

We chose Olsen because it is one of the few places in Buenos Aires where you can get brunch! The menu had most of the standard brunch fare, such as eggs, toast and sausage, but of course with a scando-argentine influence. For 50 pesos, I had an omelet with fruit salad and yogurt. Also included were an array of croissants and bagels, along with coffee, juice and even champagne, should your heart desire. The food was artfully prepared, served promptly and absolutely fulfilled your homesick craving for brunch, in a completely original way.

Perhaps more of a tourist destination than a local one, the waiters spoke English and all credit cards are accepted. Olsen was truly a wonderful place to have an original brunch experience in Buenos Aires.

Olsen

Address: Gorriti 5870

Phone: 11.4776.7666
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