I’m from Texas – born n’ raised! Hell, I have a massive chest tattoo of the Lone Star, horseshoes, guns, smoke, and our state flower, the yellow rose.
If I know anything, it is beef. Yes, we live in Austin, home of the most vegetarians per capita in our grand ol’ state but it is just not something I can commit to – I NEED MEAT.
So let’s just say I was a bit skeptical when I arrived in Argentina. People raved around the world at how good the beef was.
And even though we were basically veggies due to our meager $50/day budget ($26 of which went to our rent), we did manage to save enough to splurge a bit while in Buenos Aires.
So introducing our contenders:
The #TeamBA Blogger Asado
Hosted by the awesome Mike of the Art of Backpacking, this Argentine-American wanted to show off his asado skills and invited us over along with a few other bloggers to see what everything was about.
Served: Vacio (healthy cut of meat from the chest of the cow), Morcilla (blood sausage), Chorizo (sausage), and Ribs.
Cost: Well, for us, a bottle of wine and a massive bowl of mac and cheese that I rocked (ask Stephanie, she called it for her and Mike to share after we left).
Verdict: Mike is a damn fine griller. It is a shame he isn’t from Texas. He would make people proud. Charred yumminess on the outside, pink and warm on the inside – GREAT COMBO.
This little gem is freaking amazing. Check with them to find out when their 50% off 7-8pm slot is since it appears as though they do change their schedule to throw people off a bit. We went on a Monday and they had moved it to Tues-Thurs. Get there early! Like, 45 minutes early (and I DON’T mean Latin American TimE) and wait outside as the line can get a bit obscene very quickly.
Served: Ojo de Bife (Rib Eye), Bife de Chorizo (both ordered RARE), bottle of Cafayate (GOOD!) – keep in mind that the chef suggests you share cuts of meat as they are massive. We were rockin’ 4 pounds (2 kilos) of meat between 3 people.
Cost: On 50% night the total cost of the bill came out to about $60USD for everything.
Verdict: The service is amazing and they fill your wine glass for you (which made me feel fancy!). The ojo de bife won the best meat for the night hands down. Again, charred and flavorful on the outside, perfectly cooked on the inside and tender as all hell. The bife de chorizo, which normally is one of the best cuts, was sadly not up to par (maybe it was just a bad night for the cook?). Super chewy, and 25% fat (the Argentines LOVE their steak fat), it was unflavorful and disappointing. The sides made eating it much more bearable.
Siga La Vaca
While not the most upscale restaurant around, this all you can eat meat buffet is totally worth your time. Lets just say that you get an entire bottle of wine to yourself to help wash down this gluttonous event.
Served: Morcilla, Chorizo, Vacio, Short Ribs, Bife de Chorizo, Chinchulines (intestine), a helping (or 2 – so kill me, I hadn’t seen a salad bar this stacked in MONTHS) of the salad bar, a bottle of wine per person (6 bottles), and french fries for the table.
Cost: ~$30USD per person for all the meat you can stuff into your face in one sitting
Verdict: Everything was a wee bit overcooked but still delicious. Although, I think the bife de chorizo that Shaun and my friend Kevin got was so overcooked you could have thrown it and broken a window. The ribs were by far my favorite… and the chinchulines? Yeah, I’m still not a fan. There is just something about that pate-y paste in the middle that makes me gag. At least I tried. Two times.
Poor Shaun loved his wine so much that he drank his entire bottle before he even really ate anything (and he isn’t much of a drinker).
Here are some of his pictures while he was wandering outside woozy (and we couldn’t find him):
So overall verdict?
The quality of the meat is exactly the same. Nothing new there. Although, they have their cooking techniques down to a tee. While Texans have some mean BBQ down – dare I say it? – I think the Argentines may have us on how to grill a steak. Salt, perfect temperature – there is nothing else like it in the world.