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What to eat in Buenos Aires

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Argentina > Buenos Aires cuisine: eating in Argentina
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Take an appetite with you to Buenos Aires.

Though porteños enjoy a varied ethnic cuisine thanks to their immigrant ancestors, the traditional Argentine meal of beef or bife is prevalent. Much of Argentine beef is exported, yet the best is saved for national consumption and in Buenos Aires, you'll find plenty of restaurants to enjoy it. Steak houses called parrillas abound. Some call attention to their menus with stuffed cows in the doorway or cook their meat in the windows. This might make the vegetarians and vegans among us pause, and others long for a big tossed salad, but in Buenos Aires, beef is the thing. You'll need to understand the cuts of beef to make your choices: bife de lomo is equivalent to a sirloin steak and is the leanest and most expensive cut bife de chorizo is cut from the rib near the rump and a very popular cut bife de costilla is a T-bone steak. tira de asado is a strip of rib roast big enough for two, vacio is the bottom part of the sirloin porterhouse and flank and is the juiciest cut. You'll also see a matambre, which means kill hunger, and is a strip of flank steak rolled around vegetables and boiled eggs. It's often eaten cold as an appetizer. A parrillada is a mixed selection of beef cuts organ meat and sausages. If you like your meat rare, order it juogoso. Medium is al punto and well done is bien hecho or cocido.

You won't see many vegetables, potatoes, rice or other dishes with your meat entree except for , which comes with fried eggs and french fries. However, salad and bread are traditional and the salads may be anything from a sliced tomato to a mixed salad with eggs and artichokes. With their beef, porteños drink Argentine wine. Grown near Mendoza and Salta, Argentine wines either red tinto or white blanco,are good and very cheap. If you order vino común, or jug wine, splash in a little soda water to smooth the rough edges. Argentines eat a light breakfast, usually bread and tea maté or coffee, a large lunch and then another large meal after nine - usually much later. If you get hungry, there are pizzerias confiterías where you can get deli type meals, including a pancho or hot dog. For dessert, you'll have a choice of fresh fruit, custard or cheese and preserved fruit, or queso y dulce the favorite dulce de leche or pastries made with dulce de leche. Juices are popular as are licuados or juice blended with milk. For a hot drink you can order coffee at any time but be aware that it will be very strong an espresso. You can also order: café chico - thick strong coffee in a small cup café cortado - small coffee with a touch of milk, often served in a glass. A doble is a larger serving. café con leche - with milk is served at breakfast only If you are a tea drinker, and want milk in your tea ask for un poquito de leche else your tea will be served with lemon slices. If you like hot chocolate, order a submarino which is a chocolate bar in steamed milk.

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