16 March 2014

Getting Some Food | South America 2013

28 December 2013

We met Alex and his entourage at a smoothie shop / bar that was in our neighborhood. We guzzled margaritas (naturally) and went to get pizza, obviously.

I haven't seen Alex since we graduated high school. Ang has seen him more. They both lived in New York at the same time and Alex lives near Angie's brother. Still, we haven't all three been in the same location since the Clinton Administration. The fact that our first reunion was in Buenos Aires was... I don't know... extra special.

Plaza Serrano
Buenos Aires, December 2013
Alex was heading out of town after we saw him. We really only had a single moment in time to meet and I'm glad it happened. We ate and did as much catching up as was necessary.

But reality (or responsibility) could not be deterred. I asked the waiter for the nearest Western Union, but stopped listening after he said "take the bus to..." As with anyone else my age, I decided to wait until I had the Internet to guide me.

Ang & I walked the neighborhood and browsed a craft fair. We found a grocery store (closed for siesta time) and went home to get really settled. We were in Argentina!

In the neighborhood.
Palermo, Buenos Aires 
The view from our patio.
Palermo, Buenos Aires
We had dinner reservations (that Ang booked) for 8 that night. We thought that was kind of late for dinner, but it was about an hour early for the Argentines.

As the sun set on Saturday, I decided to look up the nearest Western Union. There were actually a lot of options, which was surprising. There was one just a couple of blocks away from where we were having dinner. We got ready and set out to find it. It was supposed to be open until 9, but there was no way we were going to be done with dinner by then.

We arrived and whatever had been there was there no longer. There was no sign that whatever was there had even been a Western Union. This was about the time when I started realizing the folly of my timing. If I couldn't get cash on a Saturday night, I was likely not going to get it on a Sunday morning. I was looking at two days without any real money. I was internally frantic - how was I going to buy things?! What's the point of traveling if I couldn't buy locally made trinkets?
Best Malbec I've ever had.

I digress.

We ate at La Cabrera, a restaurant so famed there are three (3!) on a single block. It's in the books. It's on the Internet and it's in the whispers of locals and tourists alike. It's a grill, or what we Americans call a steakhouse. The portions were unreal. We both ordered a meat and a half order of a side. We did not know entrees also came with a choice of three tiny side dishes. We really tried, but the options were overwhelming. There was just so much food! There was also wine.

A "half order" of a Spanish omelet. 

Half order of fries with grilled onion.

I left La Cabrera with most of a Spanish omelet and a quarter chicken in my purse. It must be a common occurrence, because they wrapped it very tightly. There was nary a spill.


Ang & I dawdled and were late to meet John. Not that it mattered, he was still there. We had drinks and bonded in a way that Americans traveling abroad do. At some point we realized we were sweating - really sweating - while sitting still in a bar. The bartender explained they had turned the air conditioning off so as to not contribute to the brown outs that had been happening. I thought that was very considerate. But none of us were in the mood to keep sweating.

We ended up at another bar sitting outside with an older couple. I don't remember what we discussed, just that they were fun and somewhat indicative of what I want in my upper middle age years. Ang & I left around 2 in the morning.

Day one: complete.

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