Photo from Ian Carvell.
Argentina is well known for it’s meat, it’s beef, for carne. And what could be better than enjoying this at one of Buenos Aires many, many steakhouses or parrillas? There are literally thousands of places we could, and should, go to. I know because I’ve seen many “best eats” lists. However, as a parrilla newbie with only un poco of Spanish we wanted a little help understanding the world of the parrilla to make the most out of our Buenos Aires food experience.
Here entered Parrilla Tour Buenos Aires.
Parrilla Tour took us on a 3 hour tour of some of Buenos Aires’ best parrillas and eateries. But more than just take us to a bunch of restaurants (after all who needs that?) they showed us what was good to eat at which place, told us what to look for on menus and taught us what to expect when dining in different types of establishments. They also gave advice on good restaurants in each neighbourhood, how to order our meat and even explained how to say certain words that were essential to our BA dining experience. For example parrilla. It’s not pah-rilla (ok, we did give it a little try) or pah-ee-ya (yes this is Latin American Spanish so the l’s are different here), it’s par-ee-sha.
The highlight of the tour was a meal at a “secret” or “closed door” parrilla. These restaurants are common in Buenos Aires but are not something the casual tourist would ever discover alone. Usually reserved for locals, the owners of Parrilla Tours have worked with local restaurants to allow the tour group to enjoy their food, even if the door says “closed.” Here we enjoyed two cuts of steak – a sirloin and a skirt steak, blood sausages, provoleta and arugula salad washed down with the obligatory Malbec. A wonderful lunch time indeed.
All in all we enjoyed the food, the learning and the tour very much. More importantly, we found that we were much more confident eating out after we went on the tour. We felt free to discover and explore Buenos Aires’ food for ourselves and ultimately, that’s what travelling is all about. Freedom. Oh and food.