THE road to Argentina was a hard one because it started with dealing with the Argentinean embassy in Manila who made it very hard for us to get our visas as smoothly as possible. We were asked many requirements, which were not on the official list of requirements for tourist visa. We were asked for birth certificates, for example, that were not part of the official list of requirements the embassy listed. Granted that they have a disclaimer that the embassy has a right to ask for additional requirements as they seem fit.
Finally when we got our visas, it was such a relief. Our plane tickets were already booked and so were our hotels in the different South American cities we will go to so we cannot afford to be denied the visa to Argentina.
The city of Buenos Aires has always fascinated me -- it is the land of tango, the top-quality Argentina beef, Argentinean wines. It is called the Paris of South America.
Our first day in Argentina started with a lunch at one of its famed restaurants in the city. La Cabrera offers more than two dozen cuts of meat and a smorgasbord of accompanying sides, and is booked solid most of the time.
Located at the corner of Thames and its namesake street, La Cabrera is one of many upscale grills dotting Palermo Soho. There are two branches of this steak house in this area. The ambience is eclectic and maximalist, with a lot of souvenirs, art work dotting its walls. The people are friendly and warm. So friendly that I even got a free creme brulee at the end of our meal.
We were spoiled on our lunch there, as we were served a variety of meats from Sirloins, tenderloins, flanks and rib-eyes prepared by slow cooking that brought out the flavor of the famed Argentine grass-fed beef.
Perhaps even better than the carnivore-worthy mains are La Cabrera’s trademark variety of side dishes, included complimentary with every entrée; Better yet, all the foods -- appetizers, entrees and sides -- are presented on communal dining trays, encouraging a family style type of meal. We had spinach salad, caprese salads and standard green salads. We were served chorizo, pork blood sausage, which I admit is not my favorite one. I like the Filipino dish dinuguan, but the pork blood sausage is not something I would probably order again.
Some of our friends do not eat beef so they ordered the chicken, which was served on a wooden chopping board and served with different sides as well. The chicken was also so tasty and slow roasted. It is a shame though that they missed the beef. In Argentina, it is a land of potatoes, cheese, meat, beef and wine. These things seem to be the staple and being a carnivore, I was feeling like a true Argentinean.
La Cabrera opens its doors at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Before 10, English is the primary language overheard as tourists and early-bird expats usurp the limited seating. The restaurant is popular alright but the servers remain friendly and definitely service oriented and not arrogant.
I happily recommend this place for anyone visiting Buenos Aires. They cater to tourists and locals alike, making it a top spot not to be missed.
Jose Antonio Cabrera 5099
Palermo , Buenos Aires
+54 11 4831 7002
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