Posts filed under ‘food’

galeria crawl: galeria larreta

Galeria Larreta 006 

Florida (the street, not the state) is a nightmare. Traffic trickles along, pickpockets take advantage of dazed tourists, and prices are almost always double what they should be.

Galeria Larreta 001 Galeria Larreta 009

But there’s a safe place among the mayhem in Galería Larreta (Florida 971). Right off of Marcelo T. Alvear, Galería Larreta is like the rebel sister who shaves her head and listens to the Delta 5. She refused to conform and look like the other stores on the strip; instead she’s going to open up a bunch of indie design-oriented stores, the rest of calle Florida be damned.

Joyería Contemporánea (Local 4b), with its mix of avant-garde designs (everything from silver and stones to leather and felt are used), is one of the first stores you’ll see, and perhaps the stateliest. Artistas Jóvenes Argentinas (Local 26), by the San Martín entrance, exhibits works that range from traditional to modern. The common denominator here is that all pieces have been made by young local artists.

Galeria Larreta 002 Galeria Larreta 004

Head upstairs and you’ll find the true gems of Galería Larreta, Patio Sur (Local 39) and Tiendas Kubera. At the former, there are beautifully feminine pieces, like a delicate ivory trench coat with black detailing for $240 pesos, or precious Irregular Choice-style flats for $180 pesos. Across from Patio Sur is Tiendas Kubera, a space for independent designers. Everything, from the screen printed t-shirts to the leather purses, is made by hand by young local designers. Don’t miss the flower pins; not only are they perfect for spring, but similar ones have been spotted on the runway of it-designer Philip Lim.

Galeria Larreta 005

If you’re hungry, Galería Larreta is a far superior pick to the overpriced cafes in the area. Carrousel (Local 7) is a cute, albeit kitschy, café with sandwiches for $6 pesos and a lunch special of several courses for $25. If you’ve about had it with meat (and honestly, who hasn’t craved a plate of nice fresh greens while in Argentina?), Ensaladas Argentinas (Local 45) will hit the spot. $6 pesos gets you a medium salad with a choice of four ingredients, and $7 pesos gets you a large salad with a choice of six. For a mid-afternoon snack, don’t miss Murasaki’s happy hour. From 16:30 until 19:30 (Monday through Friday), sushi is 20% off.

Galeria Larreta 007

There are a couple odd-balls in the place, like the store for musical theater geeks and an antique military paraphernalia store. But if anything, they just give Galería Larreta more personality. Which is what makes it so great: it’s a breath of fresh air from store after store of the same old thing (i.e. leather jackets and “cashmere” sweaters). Step inside, take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself that it’s going to be okay, that Florida will not make you die a little bit inside.

Galería Larreta, Florida 971/San Martín 954.

Previous Galeria Crawl entries.

August 7, 2007 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

gimme my pepas!

My already unhealthy obsession with membrillo-laden sweets has escalated to a full blown addiction.

 It started in the most innocent of ways when I met a friend for merienda and we shared a pasta frola de membrillo. Membrillo, better known as quince to English speakers, is a fruit that looks like a cross between an apple and a pear. When boiled down and mixed with sugar and water, membrillo turns into a type of paste. While in Spain it is traditionally served with cheese, here in Argentina it most often takes the form of a sweet dessert.

  

Pasta frola, basically a type of tart filled with either batata (eww) or membrillo (yum), was the gateway drug for me. I started peering into bakeries on my way home from work, staring longingly at the individual sized pasta frola, the portions of pasta frola, the squares of pasta frola. Soon after I was picking up 1/4 portions of pasta frola at the bakery next to my house.

  

And then I tried Tia Maruca’s Pepas. Pepas from Tia Maruca (like Pepridge Farm but with lower prices and less of a selection) are amazing. The shortbread cookie is of a perfect consistency–not too hard, not too soft. The drop of membrillo in the center is of a perfect consistency–not too hard, not too soft. And at a dependable 2 pesos a bag at the corner kiosco, they’re a deal.

Too much of a deal, apparently, because now I’m addicted. Seriously. I bought a bag of Pepas yesterday and they seem to have gone missing (Wes, did you take them?), and now I’m going crazy. Tearing up my apartment looking for the cookies. Google image searching them. Contemplating leaving the house just to hunt down another bag of cookies. It’s a problem, I know. But the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, right?–REBECCA

July 17, 2007 at 4:07 pm 3 comments

riding the cupcake wave

 

While American-style baked goods (bagels, brownies, cookies) have made their way onto trendy Buenos Aires cafe menus, there’s one item that hasn’t yet crossed the frontera– cupcakes.

I was reminded of this while reading that Magnolia Bakery–the New York bakery that, thanks to Sex and the City, started it all– was shut down this afternoon because of health code violations. Seeing as the cupcake trend has already come and gone in NY, this symbolic nail in the coffin may allow for the Atkins diet-flouting pastry to migrate south and find its place among the Oui Ouis and the Mark’s Delis of Buenos Aires.

Don’t get me wrong– I love cupcakes. If there wasn’t always a line around the corner at Magnolia, I’d be there every afternoon. Instead, Billy’s Bakery (Chelsea), Buttercup Bakery (UWS/UES), and Baked (Red Hook) were the dealers that supported my sugar high addiction. 

If you too are feeling sugar pangs (and would rather not wait for an overpriced, underwhelming version to arrive at Oui Oui or Mark’s), try baking them yourself. To make the official soy so lindo cupcake, pick up a cupcake pan at Falabella and chocolate cake batter and Bon o Bon creme frosting at the supermarket. Let the great cupcake migration of 2007 begin.–REBECCA

July 11, 2007 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

we’re all yanquis

 

Yesterday was the first of what we hope to be many soy so lindo parties. In honor of Argentina’s Independence Day (July 9), we figured that we’d throw an American style party, complete with hamburgers from the “grill” (aka the stove top), sweet potato fries, sangria, and live music by the medio-American band Springlizard. We weren’t expecting snow when we planned our summer-inspired fiesta, but then again, does anyone expect the cold white stuff in a city that saw its last snowfall in 1918?

But sub-freezing temperatures and icy sidewalks didn’t stop us from partying like it was July 4th, as these photos show. For more, check out soy so lindo’s flickr page.

 

July 10, 2007 at 4:29 pm 2 comments

bureks and baclava and babaganouge, oh my!

 

Somehow it came up in one of my timid attempts at breaking the cubicled silence: Argentines only eat sweets for breakfast–nothing rich and savory like in “The Old Country.” (Darko and I have built a tenuous office bond over our shared Serbian heritage–I’m not sure if I mentioned that I’m only one eighth and that, aside from my college graduation trip to a burned-out, dusty little town outside of Belgrade, my family’s Balkan brethren have been all but forgotten about for over 90 years). Regardless, Darko agreed that sweets in the morning are not to be tolerated, we embraced heartily, and he let me in on the secret.

Apparently these two gems are the only places to find Turkish, Armenian, and Balkan-style sundries in Buenos Aires. I haven’t scoured the city to back up my words, instead trusting Darko’s gruff assertion that these are the only places to get real “burek” (meat pies), acelga-filled pastry balls, falafel, hummus, baba ganoush (“babaganouge”), and most importantly, real Balkan-style yogurt liquido.

 

Panadería Armenia: This tiny bakery and sundry goods store is surprisingly easy to spot: look for the large letters on a giant shining silver sign, the scale of which gives the appearance of a marquee. Inside find fresh falafel, pan arabe, (pita-like flatbreads), burek, hummus and baba ganoush, in addition to a glass display case filled with baklava and various variations on the honey-sweet, layered philo confection. Try the pistachio nutty -thing with kataifi. You’ll know when you see it. Behind the counter and ringing the walls are a wide array of every Armenian drink and canned good that only Armenians know, so try a couple and get back to us. I say go for the Anise liquoir. Scalibrini Ortiz 131/21.

 

Damasco Confitería: Just half a block up Scalabrini Ortiz sits Damasco Confitería, the Turkish and Greek grocery. Much larger than Armenia, it has a pleasant Old World ambiance (which comes as no surprise, considering that it’s been there for over 50 years), with shelves lining all the walls to the ceiling and glass cases filled with dried fruits, olives and sweets, as well as assorted bureks and savory pastries. The best thing about this place has got to be the yogurt liquido: thick, drinkable yogurt indistinguishable from that of the Balkans. Better even than anything I’ve found in New York, and I have most certainly searched. Order something from high up on the shelves and watch the old man (the second of three generations of Greeks tending to the store) get it down with a curious long, tong-like contraption and, finally, watch him meticulously wrap your purchases in patterned wax paper, finished  with a twine bow. Scalibrini Ortiz 1283. –WESLEY

 

July 5, 2007 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

mi querido diversión

Is your wanderlust out of control? soy so lindo’s global edition of mi querido diversión is just what you need. Here’s how to feel like you’ve been to Chile and Brazil without stepping foot outside of the city this weekend.

Saturday, June 30: It’s almost too good of a night for music– there’s homegrown bands El Mató A Un Policía Motorizado (playing at the Roxy) and Los Alamos (playing at Petecos in Lomas de Zamora). But our pick is Javiera Mena, the Chilean smart-pop musician, whose one-peso show at C.C. San Martin is worth attending for the price alone.

21 hs, Ciclo Nuevo!, Centro Cultural San Martín, Sala Enrique Muiño, Sarmiento 1551. 4to Piso, entrada $1.

 

Sunday, July 1: Nothing says “weekend” like a good street fair. Especially a Brazilian street fair. Eat, drink, dance and be merry at this weekend fair in Palermo Viejo. And try to forget that you’ll be back to work in just a few hours.

Costa Rica between Malabia and Scalabrini Ortiz, Palermo Viejo, Saturday and Sunday.

June 30, 2007 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

peanut, peanut butter!

A peculiar reaction happens to many Americans who stay for an extended period of time in Buenos Aires: they suddenly become obsessed with peanut butter. It’s all that they talk about, all that they think about, all that they want. People who went through maybe a small jar of Jiffy a year are, within a few weeks of arrival, going on and on about how it’s a right, not a privilege, to have access to peanut butter. And no, dulce de leche just won’t do.

I don’t count myself among this group, but I’ve seen way too many expat friends throwing away their money on ridiculously overpriced peanut butter from the imported section at their nearby Disco. And it’s got to stop.

Luckily for those with an addiction that just can’t be kicked, there’s a homegrown solution: Crema de Bon o Bon. Up until a year ago, I’d never heard of it. But at an American-style brunch I hosted at my apartment last August, a friend (who speaks no English yet somehow knew of Americans’ obsession with PB) brought over a tub of it as a stand-in for peanut butter.

While it’s a bit sweeter than your average Skippy (which makes sense, since it’s the cream that fills the chocolate candies Bon o Bons), the texture and consistency are pretty comparable. Arcor, the company that makes Crema de Bon o Bon, must have caught on to this similarity, since it now includes the words “peanut cream” in English on the front of the container.

You can find Crema Bon o Bon in the baking aisle of your nearby mega- supermercado, and at $4.90 it’s a far cry from what you’ll be charged for a jar of imported peanut butter. I smeared some onto a piece of challah made by a friend, dropped a couple of banana slices on top, and voila–a medialuna free breakfast.–REBECCA

June 27, 2007 at 5:40 pm 2 comments

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