FrancesRenHuang

Archive for the ‘Cafes’ Category

Coffee to Go

In Cafes, Drink n Sip & Lick on March 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Coffee to go

small space

Veggie wrap

It seems this week is all about cafe. I couldn’t resist- here’s another one- this time a tiny cafe in San Telmo. Their philosophy is taking coffee to go- a completely different concept from the coffee culture in BA. The hip young style of this place reminded me of coffee shops of the Mission District, San Francisco, where one goes not only for their daily addictions, but also for the people who work behind the counter.

Maltilda’s Cafe

Chile 673, San Telmo, Buenos Aires 4300 2216

Cafe Critic: Though the space is small, it manages to pack in a comfy sitting area, a standing counter, and a window counter displayed with muffins, cakes and scones- above all- the fun buzz of the small kitchen.

Wrap Critic: Other than just serving coffees and pastries, they are known for their wraps. For 22pesos ($5), this huge wrap can be consumed by 2 people. Easily. My delicious huge veggie wrap overflowed with veggies: bell pepper, grilled onion, eggplant, carrots etc. I also like how they dress this wrap with generous globs of hummus, instead of the typical cream cheese filling.

Pros

  • delicious wraps
  • hip easy-going atmosphere
  • their concept: taking things to go

Cons

  • muffins, bagels, cookies didn’t look very appetizing (though it may very well taste good)

Cafe @Plaza Castelli

In Cafes, Drink n Sip & Lick on March 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Cookies?

Counter of Desserts

A bite of sandwich

big big tart

This cafe, despite being owned by a television celebrity-chef, doesn’t at all seem chic or pretentious. This small cafe seemingly represents her style: the overflowing of baked goods, sweets and a staff of all smiles.

Maru Botana

Echeverría 3220, Belgrano R, Buenos Aires 455 8887

(http://www.marubotana.com/)

Cafe Critic: The location is another wonderful element to this cafe. This bustling cafe overlooking the park, Plaza Castelli at Belgrano R- great way to spend a lazy afternoon..lingering and people watching.

Food Critic: This place has drooling desserts, various lunch/snack options and generous petit fours to go with their coffee. The price ranges around 22 pesos($5.25) for salads/sandwiches and a bit less for a piece of sweetness. Big portion, good price.

Pros

  • big size of quiche packed with veggies and chicken: not too eggy, dense or creamy
  • vegetarian sandwich: whole wheat and stuffed with grilled vegetables and cheese
  • free generous portion of petit fours with coffee
  • great service
  • beautiful location

Brunching

In Cafes, Drink n Sip & Lick on March 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Melt in the mouth roll

breakfast spread

Still hungry?

Brunch. The best meal of the week. Imagine a beautiful spread of scones, muffins, pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage,  syrup, croissants, unlimited mocha, and biscuits…*salivating.  In BA, a good brunch place, like Café Crespín, is like a rare jewel- a true treasure for breakfast addicts like me, as Sunday mornings come around and I find myself back in that cafe again, and again.

Café Crespín

Vera 699, Villa Crespo, Buenos Aires 4855 3771

(http://www.cafecrespin.com.ar/)

Cafe Critic: Stashed away in a quiet part of town, the endearing cafe holds a slight resemblance of a local diner; the waiters with aprons delivering coffees and milkshakes, the laughter and noise coming from the kitchen, and the smell of bacon and fresh pastries wafting in the air. I also can never forget a place that has a display of mouth-watering desserts.

Breakfast Critic: All good. Need I say more? French Toast-good. Eggs cooked to perfection-check. Cinnamon Bun- soft, melt-in-your-mouth good. Coffee- great. Price: 75pesos ($18) for mimosa, coffee, pastry of your choice, eggs, french toast, bacon or smoked salmon. A la carte also an option.

Pros

  • fresh delicious baked goods
  • soft, cake-like brioche french toast, with berries, and syrup
  • cinnamon roll
  • coffee
  • service
  • ambiance
  • bacon and eggs

Cons

  • bagel sandwich with smoked salmon and cream cheese was mediocre, more so the bagel itself.
  • more breakfast options; how about bagel with poached egg in hollandaise  sauce? Omelets and pancakes of all sorts? 🙂

 


Cafe Natural

In Cafes, Drink n Sip & Lick on February 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Juicing

Tart

This is a great find for anyone who is a food snob and with an odd addiction to being healthy. (That’s me.) Simple menu and fresh fresh ingredients. An easy place to trek back for some juices, dessert or something to eat. Funny how one of the investors in the restaurant is the Green&Go company, the salad cafe that I didn’t enjoy too much a few weeks back.

Cafe Mooi

Cuba 1985, Belgrano, Buenos Aires 4783 9000

http://www.mooirestaurant.com.ar/

Cafe Critic: Intimate colorful environment. In one corner there are comfortable booths; the other side with sofas. Whole place is surrounded by colorful textiles and wooden chairs.

Juice: They have wonderful big glass of juices, ranging 9~19 pesos (2~4.50dollars), berries with kiwi, orange juice, apple with ginger etc. I love the little side notes on the menu about sugar or without sugar, honey etc.

Pros

  • loads of veggie options- veggie burger is the next try
  • juices are highly recommended
  • varieties of breakfast menu
  • fresh fresh salad, with simple olive/vinegar on the side. Two thumbs up for the alfafa sprouts.
  • menu options for non veggies and veggies
  • affordable prices, ~20($5) pesos for sets of breakfast, 40($10) pesos for lunch deals, and 25~30(6~7.50) pesos for sandwiches, salads, rolls, tarts

Cons

  • nothing really, although their paper menu is a bit run down. 🙂

King of Alfajores

In Cafes, Drink n Sip & Lick on December 13, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Addictions

Double shot of coffee with cream on top. 🙂

Sweets culture is an afternoon pass-time here, from munching on a big piece of chocolate bar, to siting down with some sort of dessert and coffee. Alfajores being one of the most convenient and common sweets eaten everywhere. Personally, this treat is a little too rich for my palate, though I admit very satisfying when I am dying of hunger.

Alfajores are in my opinion, two crumbly crunchy fist-size cookies glued together by a thick layer of sweetness; as if it is not enough, they decide to dip these devils in dark chocolate. This gruesome journey of gluing and dipping is then packed neatly into a crispy wax paper, ready to be unfolded like a present into one’s eager hand. My hand. Involuntarily this cookie is sent straight between my big teeth, as the crunch is accompanied with the melting chocolate. The teeth’s final destination sinks into the chewy, sticky, gooey fillings. Price? Affordable: 4 pesos ($1). Calories..Who’s counting?

Havanna

http://www.havanna.com.ar/

This chain of cafe/chocolate vendors are scattered all around the city, noted as the elite alfajores of Argentina. Their assorted flavors of alfajores, wrapped in beautiful colors convince pedestrians that these devil cookies are a necessity, not a choice. The great thing about Havanna is the assorted flavors, ranging from white chocolate coating, dark chocolate coatings, to their varieties of fillings-a far cry from the too-sweet dulce de leche fillings local brands carry. Though my favorite of theirs are the chocolate bars: almond dark chocolate, dark chocolate, hazelnut dark chocolate. They are so far the best dark chocolate I have ever had, and the most expensive: 16 pesos ($4).

Also notable are their coffees. 🙂


Chocolate Submersion

In Cafes, Drink n Sip & Lick on December 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm

A Bar of Chocolate

Melted Creamy Chocolate

Chocolate milk is as commonly ordered as coffees in this cafe culture of Buenos Aires.

Submarino is chocolate milk taken to another level: rich, creamy and do- it yourself fun. This is the funnest drinks I’ve ever had. The equation? A warm frothy cup of milk+ a piece of chocolate+ stirring spoon +patience = milky, foamy, creamy, rich, chocolate milk. If only they continued to build on this, by adding a few twists to the drink: a few dashes of sichuan peppers, or nutmeg and cinnamon, or maybe even almond powder. Voila!

The Proclaimed Oldest Cafe

In Cafes, Drink n Sip & Lick on October 14, 2010 at 9:46 am

 

Making the Territory

 

 

Nouveau 19th Century Architecture

 

An overwhelming touristic destination for me, but having the reputation as the oldest cafe in the country, we had to step foot in here; the same place that politicians and international figures like Albert Einstein and Hilary Clinton has sipped their coffee at.

Cafe Tortini

Avenida de Mayo 825, Centro, Buenos Aires (http://www.cafetortoni.com.ar/index_ingles.html)

Cafe Critic: We never stayed for their coffee, but it is worth the visit for the history of this cafe; imagining past politicians and international figures meeting in this room. It is one of those places where I can say, “Check, I’ve been there.”

Pros

  • oldest cafe in the country..really?
  • like the architecture
  • great history read

Cons

  • bad service
  • skip the shows!
  • expensive/not impressive menu
  • too touristic


Historic Cafe

In Cafes, Drink n Sip & Lick on September 27, 2010 at 10:59 am

The Cafe

The famous decorated counter

We were wandering around San Telmo on the beautiful Sunday morning being tourists with our map and camera on our hand; and as a tourist, it seems like a must do, stopping by the famous ‘notable bars’ for a drink. Plaza Dorrego Cafe was stuffed with people so we decided on El Federal, a quieter cafe tucked in the corner of Perú and Carlos Calvo- one of the oldest cafe in the city.

Notable Bars (Cafes) in Buenos Aires: http://www.palermonline.com.ar/noticias_2007/nota447_bares_notables.htm

El Federal

corner of Perú and Carlos Calvo

Cafe Critic: This cafe presented the history with great old wooden tables and a grand ornamented bar stuffed with pastries and alcohol. It is a great feeling to sit at a cafe that dates all the way back to 1864.

Pros

  • historical setting
  • extensive menu
  • not overpriced
  • quiet location, just around the corner from the crowded sunday market

Cons (didn’t try their food, just their beer)

  • artesenal beer wasn’t great

The Display of Sweet Indulgent

In Cafes, Drink n Sip & Lick on August 25, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Endless Pastries

And accompanying me were endless men at the counter

I walked in this cafe, ready to find a nice spot right by the window to enjoy my coffee; before I realize it, my motor neurons were controlled by the pastries at the counter. And here I was standing right at it, talking to the waiter, “Un chico cortado y medialuna por favor.” Then, I looked around and realized I was THE petite asian girl surrounded by endless men at the counter sipping away, as they throw me side glances. Of course, the women were all properly sitting at tables with their fellow friends chatting away. Wait y’all, let me pull out my canon camera that is half the size of me and draw more attention as I try to find the perfect angel for my pictures. It was great.

Florida Garden

Florida 899, Buenos Aires 11-4312-7902

Cafe Critic: It is one of those traditional cafe with waiters in their white suits giving spectacular service. The environment, coffee and pastry were all excellent. It was a surprisingly great break from the touristy Florida street and I willingly paid a very affordable 10 pesos.

Pros

  • my first time trying the medialuna filled with strawberry jam. I liked it.
  • local ambiance in a touristy area
  • endless pastry choices
  • great people watching place
  • one block away from St.Martin Plaza- a beautiful big park

Con

  • not a fan of the people haggling at the tourist area, Florida street
  • I’ll probably go next time just for the cafe but not the area around it

¡El Té!

In Cafes, Drink n Sip & Lick on August 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Tea Connection

Salmon Wrap and Chocolate Mousse Cake covered in layers of Cacao Powder

This gastronomical tea-encounter happened a few weeks ago- it was our first venture into the city by ourselves. We met up with friends as one of them suggested this newly open place near her apartment. I love it. It was one of those places similar to what I love and miss in San Francisco:chic and healthy! Most importantly, the food was sabroso! Tasty!

Tea Connection

Echeverria 2101, corner of Arcos, Belgrano, Buenos Aires 5411-4784-5545

Tea Critic: Great selections of tea from all over the world: Argentinian’s yerba mate, Taiwanese gaoshang tea, great selections of various English tea as well as Chinese green and black tea. Very affordable, and yes they have coffee.

Pros

  • 5 minutes walking distance from Belgrano train station
  • a great change from the yawning-usual orders of coffee, croissants, sandwiches or sweet unhealthy desserts
  • love the healthy oriented menu: tea, salad, wraps, sandwiches, and ‘healthy’ desserts

Pros

  • none yet


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