FrancesRenHuang

Archive for the ‘Eating Out’ Category

No Alcohol Allowed

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on April 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Starters

bread basket

shawarma set

Al Zein

Arce 488, Las Cañitas, Buenos Aires 4775 1402

(http://www.alzein.info)

I’m delighted to discover in BA a local joint serving up cheap middle eastern dishes alongside the familiar quick service and their fascinating traditions- no alcohol. Really? (sigh) Don’t get me wrong; I do enjoy the once in a while good fancy middle eastern-inspired meal, but after a long day’s work during the week, there is no place better than a no frill service, throwing down good ole’ cheap Middle Eastern food.

Restaurant Critic: The aroma of the roasting meat from the counter fills up the whole restaurant along with a display of take-it-to-go appetizers and sweet baklava. The restaurant is simple, airy, with an outdoor seating, and the strong presence of the Middle Eastern tradition.

Food Critic: Their babaganoush (eggplant salad) was delicious, with a good hint of smokey flavor. My other half agreed-the best he had so far. Surprisingly stated when he had his fair share of it when living in Kuwait. I love the thin tortilla-like naan, soft and light, allowing more room to enjoy the dishes; accompanying the delicious shawarma was the creamy rich yogurt, and pickled onion. Cheap and good: appetizers 17 pesos ($4) each and mains about 22 pesos ($5.25).

Pros

  • overall a delicious meal
  • quick service
  • love the babaganoush (eggplant salad)
  • thin-like naan
  • creamy thick yogurt
  • cheap

Cons

  • meat a bit dry
  • hummus was not the best we have had
  • too much lettuce in the tabouleh
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A Well Kept Secret

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on April 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Pan Fried Gyoza

Japanese Salad

Buckroot Salad

Grilled rice ball

Japanese Omelette

Sushi

Green tea mousse

Niji

Iberá 2424, Belgrano, Buenos Aires 4544 1850 (only with reservation)

This article inspired today’s post: Japanese food. If you understand Japanese’s cuisine outside of the sushi realm, then this is heaven for you- as it was for me: grilled rice, buckroot salad, gyoza, Japanese omelette, etc.

Restaurant Critc: This place is run by a Japanese mom with her daughters; the service is intimate, family-friendly, and full of smiles. Their location is a bit out of my ordinary areas, but once walking into the zen tranquility and Japanese setting, it takes me back to the time I was in Japan; my growing excitement at seeing dishes coming out of the kitchen, made with precision, love and care.

Food Critic: Looking at the menu, I fully understand why the cliental are Japanese; besides the standard sushi, the menu caters to other important parts of Japanese cuisine- bar food, street food, and home cooked food. The impressive menu did promise a good meal; the quality of each dish were excellent, the flavors were authentic, and each dish was abundant. Their dishes range from 30-100 pesos, sushi are in the 100’s and all others within the 30’s range; with a few glasses of their Japanese plum wine, delicious sakes, and over 9 dishes, we spent about 200 pesos each. Every penny was worth it.

Pros

  • the variety of Japanese dishes
  • good quality and taste on par with the prices
  • seclusive environment
  • family-style
  • love the gyozas, buckroot salad, green tea mousse, salads, grilled goods- all good.

Cons

  • they should eliminate the cream cheese from one of their rolls
  • don’t order the japanese omelette if you don’t like mayo 🙂

Chef Mun

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on March 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Tentacles

Complimentary Platters

Korean food

Ha Na Jung

Bacacay 3195, Flores, Buenos Aires 4613 0705

I’m dedicating this post to Chef Mun: the chef behind the current talked up closed-door restaurant, Casa Mun; without his help, my friend Mary and I would never have stumbled upon this restaurant-satiating us some ghetto Korean cravings. If down and dirty is not your style, Casa Mun’s food is the perfect reedition of Korean food with the hint of Japanese and Chinese fusion.

Restaurant Critic: The restaurant reminds me of my korean friends’ big old living room space, with scrumptious food cooked by moms and grandmas. The unrecognizable sign, suspicious dark streets, cafeteria-style environment, and koreans gathering around the table is a delight to anyone who grew up in third world countries.

Food Critic: Complimentary side dishes of korean sushi, kimchee, salads, noodles, with what seems like the endless array of grilled rib-eye, octopus, and  sweet-marinated beef just kept us going for the whole night. Surprisingly by then end, the 6 of us inhaled the whole table, downed it with a few bottles of soujiu and beer- all for 70 pesos ($18) each.

Pros

  • family-style service: quick and friendly
  • do-it-yourself grilling: tender octopus, slabs of rib-eyes, my personal favorite is the fatty pork and sweet-marinated beef
  • unlimited complimentary side dishes: my favorite is their green bean noodle salad
  • korean whole grain rice served with dishes

Cons

  • need to polish up Korean to order (or like me, steal the list from Chef Mun)
  • Kimchee fried rice was clump up, taste was good, but texture wasn’t what I anticipated


Entraña

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on March 11, 2011 at 12:18 am

Menu

See that sugar on top?

Restaurant El Maipú

Av. San Juan 451, San Telmo, Buenos Aires 4361 4289

Someone very cool introduced me to her favorite cut of meat: entraña, aka skirt steak; since then, I had my shares of entrañas.  Though most of them come tougher then tender, I never can resist trying it when I see it on the menu. This time around, I hit the jackpot and found the place that grills up the perfect skirt steak.

Restaurant Critic: I adore the simplicity of the decore: some old photos hanging, an antique radio lingering on top of an antique cabinet; old-style counter being manned by a old man which can very well be the owner of the restaurant. It’s quiet, simple, and clean. A nice change from the meat-intense, busy-buzz of parilla restaurants I’ve been so far. I like it.

Food Critic: Other than my favorite tender piece of meat, the empanada was delicious; the sprinkle of sugar on top is incomprehensible but once I bit into it- Mmm. Okay, I might get why they do that. Very affordable: two pieces of steak (1/2 orders), fries, empanada round up to around 70 pesos ($18).

Pros

  • service
  • empanada and entraña
  • quiet clean ambiance suitable for friends, family and dates

Cons

  • bife de chorizo was okay.


Hi Leandro!

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on March 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm

You are awesome

Leandro Cristóbal, I adore your cooking, your spunk, your restaurant and your reality TV Show: Cafe San Juan; that is why I’m writing about your food…again. (See previous post: La Cocina Porteña)

Heaven-like dessert

This time for your amazing dessert: Terrina de chocolate con Nougatine de Almendras (die-for-chocolate-mousse with almond nuggets). Gracias.

 

Finding California Burger

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on March 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Spicy Wings

Fresh Guac

Look at that burger

The Office

Arévalo 3031, Las Cañitas, Buenos Aires 2050 3942

(http://theofficebaires.wordpress.com/)

One of my many missions is to find delicious North American grub without subduing to chain restaurants like Kansas Bar & Grill and TGI Fridays. As I’m biting into this burger, it’s a great feeling knowing I’m supporting expats in BA: like me, building a business from passion and heart. And as I chewed and chewed, I realized this is one of the damned best burger I had so far in BA.

Restaurant Critic: The white cold-like appearance from the outside may seem standoffish but once walking in, the warm wooden interior of the restaurant was a great welcome. The gem of this place is the spacious wooden terrace upstairs. This is where all the fun is: a big wall to screen movies from the projector. After eating there and distractingly watching Madonna’s performance, I’m now inspired to go to her concert.

Food Critic: Spectacular. The crunchy sweet-chili spicy wings were superb as well as the guacamole and salsa verde for the chips. The burger was the best burger we’ve tried so far in Buenos Aires. I’m also impressed by the options: California Burger (with Avocado), BBQ Bacon, Chicken and Vegetarian. The patty had a nice grilled-smoky flavor, and the bun was the perfect bite. Good short menu with wings, nachos, salads and burgers. 28~33 pesos for dishes ($~7). Very affordable. *Ask for their condiments to go with the burger. My favorite: honey-mustard and ranch.

Pros

  • great food, and service: awesome burger and appetizers
  • affordable
  • condiments are a great touch
  • passion fruit caprihina is a must try
  • superb hangout place

Cons

  • beer selections limited
  • could do better with the french fries
  • chicken burger was okay

Parilla Pizza

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on February 15, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Ambiance

Nacho

Rucula y Jamon Crudo

Lo de Nacho

Roque Saenz Peña 1061, San Isidro, Buenos Aires 4747 6058

I’ve finally gotten around to check out our famous local pizza joint, known for their parilla grilled thin-crust pizza and hip environment. One of the uniqueness is the location of this place, immersed within a residential neighborhood, some scattered bars, and a few other restaurants.  Very impressed by the laid back atmosphere, wonderful outdoor seating, crunchlicious nachos and great pizzas. With beers, nachos, two big pizzas, and a caesar salad: 40 pesos/person ($10). Solid.

Restaurant Critic: A scenic atmosphere, with tables and chair scattered onto the sidewalk and lawn, a few trees here and there, lights hanging from the branches, colorful glass pane windows and attentive service. Perfect place to bring family, dates, or catching up with friends.

Food Critic: A favorite of mine is the crispy whole leaves caesar salad with the perfect amount of decorations and a good thick dressing. Fresh is key here. Another favorite is the rucula and prosciutto pizza. Nachos also are muy bueno, crispy with a big slab of creamy sour cream, green onions, cheese and tomatoes.

Pros

  • an authentic feel to the place
  • parilla grilled thin-crust pizza, accompanying a smokey flavor
  • fresh ingredients
  • crispy nacho
  • great service
  • generous portion

Cons

  • pizza: recommend a tomato base for the pizza, and to cut down the amount of cheese

A Date

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on January 31, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Interior

Three Cheeses

Duck

Pura Tierra- Beautiful Place

3 de Febrero 1167, Belgrano C, Buenos Aires 4899 2007

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

I’ve always liked Belgrano C, the area reminds me of a beautiful suburb right in the city, and this restaurant fits right into the quiet beautiful neighborhood. Decent food with a good price- an overall good experience.

Restaurant Critic: High-vaulted ceiling, cement floor, dark wood, black leather chairs sets the theme for this low-key restaurant. A gorgeous place.

Food Critic: The menu is beautifully displayed, an anticipation for the night to come. A rare find to see salads made from herbs and flowers, and mains from quail to rabbit. In the end, the food was decent, and even though the flavors and creativity may not match up to Cafe San Juan, the ambiance and the effort sure made up for it. The two cocktails, wines, cheese, mains all came down to 300 pesos ($75).

Pros

  • impressive ambiance
  • good price
  • overall decent food
  • wine menu and cocktail choices
  • service

Cons

  • not notable flavors: okay duck and rabbit dish
  • complimentary bread dip was bland


Moroccan and Cocktails

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on January 19, 2011 at 6:47 pm

The Ambiance

Glurplicious

Mmm

Bereber- Moroccan Oasis

Armenia 1880, Palermo, Buenos Aires 4833 5622

(http://www.bereber-resto.com.ar/)

What does a spoiled asian girl got to do to have her dirt-cheap pho and red curry re-locate to Buenos Aires? My stubbornness of not wanting to pay for a 12 dollar bland curry, nor eating a tasteless chowmien has reduced down to me cooking a lot in my kitchen.

Today is no different. It is a special day and I am sick of having to choose between meat, cheese and carbs, and I refuse to cook..again. Of course-Moroccan food. There are lots of Armenian and middle-eastern food options in Buenos Aires, and I have been dying to check out this place. The verdict? I will come back again, though in terms of flavors, dip options and fresh warm bread-my vote may just lean towards El Manto.

Restaurant Critic: Walking into this quiet intimate candle-lit restaurant, I was giving the options of floor seatings, table seatings, and roof-top seatings. The subtle middle-eastern wall drawings and decorations sets off the mood perfectly for a different food experience.

Food Critic: The pastilla is tastlicious. The layers of phyllo pastry wrapped around chicken, almonds, raisins and then sprinkled with powdered sugar is to die for. The fruity cocktails are a must-order – lots of flavor, lots of fruits and not too sugary. Overall, a good experience. The price is surprisingly affordable, especially in a city of expensive ethnic options. Two starters, one entree, two drinks: 149 pesos ($38).

Pros

  • delicious pastilla
  • service and ambiance
  • olives with cumin spice
  • good combination of flavors

Cons

  • bread basket: lack of good pita breads, or thin pita chips
  • the missing flavor and juiciness of the meat


I Heart iPhone

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on January 15, 2011 at 12:12 am

Guía Epicureo

Guía Epicúreo App- The Equivalent of Yelp

Yes. I am a sucker for any tech that begins with an ‘i’ or has an image of an apple. We all know, the apps are the funnest part of owning this phone, and just recently I stumbled upon the app that is equivalent of the Yelp back home.

App Critic: Highly recommended for low-blood sugar foodies who turn into a monster if not fed at the right time. That’s Me. This app is categorized into: neighborhood search, cuisine search, and nearest restaurants with GPS, reviews, ratings and price range. Haven’t tried it yet-there is a button to call the restaurant for reservations as well as a button to call taxi. How awesome.

Pros

  • a decent list of restaurants
  • good for last minute hunger, searching for the closest food
  • user-friendly: love the navigations and the map
  • good reviews to go by: food, price and ambiance
  • restaurants listed has complete info: opening time, payment options, smoking etc

Cons

  • all in spanish
  • no search button for specific restaurants
  • not a whole lot of restaurants listed (maybe because it is free)


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