Tuesday, April 28, 2009

5 Amazing Meals in BA...







Perhaps the best part of having guests is of course the eating part--to explore the culinary corners of your destination, to look forward to each meal with great glee...I have to say, these past 6 weeks, as Nick and I have been spoiled by family visiting, my palate has been delightfully happy...Let me share with you some of the best meals I have bitten into.

Meal: Tofu a la mostaza
Restaurant: Bio
Description: Bio is the little organic haven snuggled right off of Guatemala in Palermo Viejo. If Anthropologie was reincarnated as a restaurant, it would come back as Bio. It is a small eatery with antiquey wooden tables and wooden benches, with natural light a-plenty comin' through the many windows (that are all framed with the most adorable sheer,sea-foam green curtains). The shelves are lined with home-made organic breads and jams, and the spicy cooking wafts through the kitchen's paneless window. The ambience is peaceful bliss, and the cuisine is A-MAZING. My favorite dish was the tofu a la mostaza--tofu grilled to perfection in a mustard sauce and served over basmatti rice and marinated and grilled red peppers, carrots, and mushrooms. Bon appetit! Also mouth-watering was the ginger ice cream, ever-so-slightly spicy; the whole-wheat veggie empanadas; and the Thai mushrooms soaked in coconut milk and spiced with chilies. Really, you just can't go wrong at Bio.

Meal: Braised pork over sweet potatoes
Restaurant: Bobo
Description: "Bobo" is the semi-acronym for "Bourgeouis Bohemian" (which is also the title of David Brook's hilarious social commentary book!), and one could say it's a bit elitist...But the flavors are so good that you should allow yourself to be elitist for this meal! Nestled in the heart of Palermo Hollywood, it is classier than class, with perfect flower arrangements sparsley decorating the corners (less is more here) and simple candle light illuminating each table. And let me tell you, the food here was worthy of any elite, the world over! My dish was so mouth-wateringly scrumptious that I am still lusting after it more than 3 weeks later...The pork was done perfectly, crispy and crusted with herbs on the outside, and tender and soft in the inside. The sweet potatoes were whipped to perfection and baked so that the outside had the slightest crunch. Oh, how magnifique!!

Meal: Plum & Mozzerella Empanadas
Restaurant: La Fachada
Description: I've always been a sucker for the lounging moments of vacation, which is perhaps why I enjoyed La Fachada's empanadas so much, as they were eaten as take-out while watching Evita on Caitlin's laptop. The cozy factor was out-the-roof! (It doesn't hurt that Evita is one of my all-time favorite movies, either.) But even those the setting might have biased my decision, these empanadas are some of the best I have had! They are very unique in that many of them are open-faced, like miniature empanada pot-pies, oozing with cheese and empie goodness. My personal favorite of these pot-pie style empanadas was the plum and mozzerella. I know it sounds strange, and at first I was a bit leary, until I took a bite...The plum tasted more like a softly sweet jam, spread in-between layers of warm, melted mozzerella, all resting inside flaky pastry dough. There was the slightest sprinkling of pancetta lacing the top, giving the whole thing a smoked and unforgettable taste. Each bit was more amazing than the last, I swear...

Meal: Italian Veggie Salad Wrap
Restaurant: Pura Vida
Description: Pura Vida is a health-nut's Paradise located in Recoleta. It is a cubby of a restaurant, with a smoothie bar and bar stools for diners who wish to eat in-house, and constantly moving delivery men on motor-bikes for diners who wish to take-out. Its white-washed walls are decorated with giant photographs of fruit that looks like it was plucked straight from the Garden of Eden. Its blenders are always chugging away, concoting wheat-grass shots and fresh fruit smoothies. But their salad wraps are where it's at. Caitlin and I split two--a smoked salmon wrap and an Italian veggie wrap. Both were great, but the Italian choice was particularly enjoyable (isn't that always the case?). The delicious and nutritious tortilla encapsulated fresh greens, marinated peppers and eggplant, and crispy tofu, done perfectly. The honey-mustard and avocado-celery sauces that accompany the wrap gave it the loveliest finishing touch. Mmm, to bite into that wrap right now would complete my morning...

Meal: Portobella mushroom sandwich
Restaurant: Natural Deli
Description: Natural Deli sits peacefully and unassumingly right off of Luis Maria Campos in Las Canitas, just a block away from the magnificent and mysterious San Benito Cathedral. With a yoga studio above the cafe and the a cafe shop stocked with fair trade and natural coffees, sweets, chocolates, wines, and spices, you feel very om-like from the moment you set foot in the door. In fact, we ate outside, and felt the om-like vibes wafting even outside the restaurant! I swear! And was the food ever om-like in-and-of-itself...I ordered a roasted portobella mushroom sandwhich, that came perfectly marinated, perfectly grilled, topped with lovely parmesan cheese, and squished between the most amazing slices of whole-grain bread. Accompanying the sandwich came some house rolls, again filled with natural organic wheat goodness, and topped with olive oil bathed in a whole clove of garlic. For a garlic lover like me, this was Heaven! (Poor Nick!) I cut right into that stinky clove and spread its soft, delicious meat all over my olive-oil soaked (once-upon-a-time-healthy) whole wheat roll. And I washed it all down with a cup of delicious organic red wine. The meal really couldn't be beat.

Food. My raison d'etre.

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