Last Meals Before Africa

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This blog entry about the events of Tuesday, March 02, 2004 was originally posted on March 03, 2004.

DAY 136:  I woke up in time to meet up for the meeting of a bike tour at 9:30.  However, realizing that I had many chores to take care of before leaving Buenos Aires (and South America for that matter) — buying medicine for my irritated eyes and cough, doing laundry, checking out of my hostel and, of course, Blog duties — I was glad that I blew it off.  I did however make time to experience the characteristic cuisine of Buenos Aires one last time.  Aside from the steaks, my other weakness was for empanadas — a tasty treat found all over the city.

EMPANADAS, THE DELICIOUS PASTRY filled with either meat, fish or cheese surrounded by a baked crust, were all over Buenos Aires — as common as hot dogs in New York City.  The St. Nicholas Hostel was in a convenient location because down the block and around the corner was La Americana, the self proclaimed “La Reina de las Empanadas.”  A Buenos Aires culinary institution since 1935, La Americana had reason for its claim in being the best. 

“I tried other empanadas at other places, and they just weren’t as good,” Amy the American from the hostel told me.

“[You can’t come here and tease me with an empanada from La Americana,]” a woman at a newsstand joked when I bought a newspaper from her while holding a still steaming chicken empanada in my hand.  She told me she’d rather have the empanada than the one peso twenty I owed her for the news — but the chicken empanadas were just so good, I wasn’t about to give it up.

So for one last time, I went to the famous empanada restaurant, which also did baked sweets and pizzas, although I never saw anyone go in for those.  Empanadas were their specialty, set apart from the rest with their whatever-it-is they put in their dough, and whatever spices they used in their beef, chicken or ham & cheese fillings.  I managed to arrive just as a fresh batch of chicken empanadas was coming out of the oven, and when it hit my taste buds, I knew that I’d have to return to Buenos Aires one day for another fix.


EMPANADAS ASIDE, I didn’t neglect the fact that I was in Steak Country and paid a visit to Chiquilin, the somewhat fancy bistro with the perfect, fatless steaks that I went to the other night.  This time around I landed in on the power lunch crowd, and dined amongst men apparently working out deals at their tables.  Next to a side of mashed potatoes, I had my last steak (picture above) in this visit to the “Paris of the South,” for just around five dollars with the exchange rate — at a fraction of the cost of the same thing in a similar place in the States.  Now if that’s not reason to come back to Buenos Aires, I don’t know what is.


I SPLIT A CAB TO THE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT with Amy the American, yet another former dot com employee.  (She actually quit her job from Amazon.com after tiring waiting for a lay off.)  Amy was bound for Chile from Argentina via Air Canada, while I was bound for South Africa from Argentina via Malaysia Airlines, on a plane that would continue onto Kuala Lumpur.

After a final glass of fine Argentine wine in the airport bar, I did some Blog work until I boarded the 747.  I sat next to two older guys that were more interested in their newspapers than conversation.  They probably just buried their heads in the news because they were just as annoyed as I was at the boorish Argentine rugby team all over the cabin that treated coach like their own team clubhouse.

For my in-flight meal I chose the beef for a little closure to this entry.  Although I’m usually not that fussy about airline food, I have to complain this time; there’s no way the beef could even compare to the best steaks of Argentina.






Next entry: Go Directly To Jail

Previous entry: Colors of Buenos Aires




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Comments for “Last Meals Before Africa”

  • LOVEPENNY:  There you go… picture of a BA steak. 

    THOSE WHO WANTED A POO PICT:  Sorry, no pictures from the bowl—didn’t want to alienate the new users—but hey, check out that slab of pate behind the steak… hope that suffices!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  12:04 PM


  • Screw the steak, gimme some empanadas!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  12:05 PM


  • Thanks E.

    Yum!...and for a measley 5 bucks!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  12:55 PM


  • my english no to good…but if you run into the girl from sao francisco in africa…tell her she owes me 30 reias for the aseida fruit.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  01:57 PM


  • she no bangs, she no bangs

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  01:58 PM


  • have a good flight and eat more steak!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  02:00 PM


  • ERIK: Sure you have your Steak and Empanadas….BUT you don’t have the STREET MEAT!!!  soo good when it hits the lips…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  02:28 PM


  • man, those empanadas and the steak looks soooo good. i am jealous. meanwhile i am sitting here having deli salad. =(

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  03:03 PM


  • what is “street meat” ?  what were you guys eating in rio???

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  05:35 PM


  • SCOTT:  “street meat” is lamb and chicken combo with rice and salad (extra white and hot sauce) off the lovely streets of NYC.  sooo good, when it hits the lips…

    Off the streets in Rio, we had a couple of items besides the alcohol, which include grilled sausage on a stick, grilled cheese on a stick, and churros.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  06:07 PM


  • Maaan ERT, all that beef, Yummm..
      Well, now that your all proteined up, you should be good to go for the African stretch.  Can’t wait to read on..

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  07:11 PM


  • good times… and away we go!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  07:49 PM


  • that steak looks tastier than arthurs… I’M HUNGRY.

    you’ll have good food in africa too! braai’s.. ! yum.  make sure you have some rooibus tea, koeksusters, melktert, bobotie… can’t remember the rest. ostrich!! eat it, ride it, buy it!!:)

    SOUTH AFRICA!!

    (I’M soooooooooo JEALOUS!!!!!!!!)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  11:28 PM


  • I was watching Lonely Planet tonight… and the blonde chick was traveling through Ghana and the Ivory Coast and I’m thinking to myself… I’m black, and I can speak french. Why I’m I not in Ivory Coast right now?!

    Even though you’re not planning to cover western Africa, needless to say I’m looking forward to African blog. Who knows? It might just be my next trip!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  01:17 AM


  • lol @ Td0t.

    I ask myself a similar question everytime i get to work but mine goes something like….I’m a nerd, and i can 3l337 sp33

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  10:32 AM


  • ...Why are these fluorescent lights sucking up my lifeforce?!!! *bangs head on keyboard*

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/04  at  10:35 AM


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Next entry:
Go Directly To Jail

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Colors of Buenos Aires




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