Breath of Fresh Air in Buenos Aires

Trip Start Mar 17, 2005
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Trip End Mar 13, 2006


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Monday, December 12, 2005

As far as cities go, Amy and I are not much for them. In our experiences so far we have found that we would usually choose to skip the cities and spend our time in smaller towns or villages, but Buenos Aires has turned out to be a gem. We have both pretty much agreed that this has been our favorite big city that we have visited in 9 months. Not for the sites, or for the history, but because it is one of the few cities we have been to that currently maintains a remarkable balance of great style (it has a distinct European feel with much of the style of San Francisco) with extreme affordability. After travelling for this long we have grown tired of great cities that have been ridiculously our of our backpacker price range (e.g. London, where you can barely get a sandwich for under $9), but Buenos Aires has proven that there are still some big cities on this green earth where you can go and find great bargains on just about everything while you enjoy mulling around a town that has you wondering whether you are really in still in South America or one of the great cities of Spain.

When we arrived in Buenos Aires we found our way into a taxi from the airport with two other guys from the states. One of them is currently managing a US internet company from abroad and has chosen Buenos Aires as his home base. He spouted off great restaurant after great restaurant, and this was a foreshadowing of what great things we were to find. A former coworker of Amy`s often visits Buenos Aires at least a couple times each year and also gave us some great recommendations (Thanks Nancy!). Wanting to see if the rumors of great (thick) steaks were true, we visited her recommendation for best steakhouse. As we walked into the restaurant we couldn`t believe our eyes as we saw that the restaurant was every bit as nice as any upscale place in San Francisco. Then, we virtually had to do a double-take when we opened the menu and saw the options and the prices. Huge, thick porterhouse steaks for under $5? Thick tenderloin cuts for about 50 cents more? Bottles of great wine for as little as $4? Amazingly fancy desserts that would hold up against the best looking (and tasting) desserts in SF for $2? This place was a steal! We visited this favorite 4 more times before we left this town. Our advice to anyone going to Buenos Aires, visit Rigolettos steak house in the Recoleta district (1291 Rodriguez Peņa street just for reference)!

We also took in some tango shows (impromptu) on the streets, wandered the various parks, saw where Evita Peron is buried, watched a championship futbol (a.k.a soccer) game in the La Boca neighborhood, and sampled as many steaks, chorizos, and other dishes as we could (amazing chorizo sandwiches that would run $5 for lunch in SF are 66 cents here).

So, needless to say we spent way longer in Buenos Aires over two different visits than we planned to. Did we mention the food?
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