One thing that is really great about Buenos Aires, is that you can get excellent steak for a cheap price. Everything else may be expensive, but a steak dinner is going to cost you much less than in the US.
Since I am traveling on a budget, I do not eat out at restaurants very often. I have been saving up my steak restaurant reviews over the few months I have lived in Buenos Aires, and now I am ready to share.
Welcome to Steak Extravaganza Week on The Travel Chica.
Well, it’s going to be two weeks because there is A LOT of steak in Buenos Aires.
I had steak at three of what I consider to be the “middle-end” steak restaurants in Buenos Aires in three different neighborhoods. Here’s what I think.
I had read about El Obrero online. It was described as a good value steak restaurant for locals.
I was not disappointed.
We started with the Provoleta. It is just fried cheese, but it is wonderful fried cheese.
My bife de ojo (ribeye) was absolutely wonderful. So full of flavor, and it was probably as big as my head!
I ate leftovers for 2 days!
Including a bottle of wine and appetizer split 3 ways, my meal cost 95 pesos (US$23.75) Not too bad for a meal this great, plus the leftovers.
El Obrero is in a pretty sketchy neighborhood in La Boca. Plus the buses that go through La Boca apparently do not like to follow their planned route, so you may get dropped off several blocks away and have to walk through a scary area.
Go for lunch instead of dinner. Take a taxi (especially if going at night).
I have to say I was disappointed with my steak.
It was overcooked. In Buenos Aires, you have two options: jugoso (juicy, aka somewhere between medium rare and medium) or a punto (aka well done). I find it odd that in a steak-loving country there are only two traditional ways to order your steak, but that’s another discussion. I actually prefer my steak medium-rare.
So when I ask for it jugoso, and it comes out medium-well, I’m not happy. Note that if you put loads of chimichurri on an overcooked steak, it tastes much better.
On the plus side, the rest of the meal was fantastic.
We shared the mushrooms as an appetizer. Look at all that garlic!
The best part was the dessert.
The chocolate mousse at Manolo’s is un-freaking-believable!
Since we went at lunchtime, we ordered from the menu ejecutivo. For 40 pesos (US$10.00), we each had ½ bife de chorizo, a ridiculous amount of fries, a glass of wine, and dessert.
I later found out that Restaurante Manolo is not really known as a steak house, so try the other dishes. They have an extensive menu.
I had heard from many expats that El Trapiche is one of the best places for lomo (filet) in Palermo at a reasonable price. Once again I recruited Jeff, and we went for lunch to take advantage of the lower prices.
I have a slight obsession with chimichurri.
As soon as I sit down at a restaurant, I ask the server to bring me chimichurri because I slather it on my bread and anything else they serve me. It is the perfect condiment.
El Trapiche has the spiciest chimichurri I have tried in Buenos Aires. Delicious!
I had the lomo with roasted veggies and fries.
The flavor of the steak was good, but it was a bit overcooked.
For the lunch special and splitting a huge appetizer, the cost was 53 pesos (US$13.25). Plus I once again had leftovers.
Don’t eat the flan. Food poisoning. I’ll spare you the details.
Our meal was so cheap because we went at lunch and ordered from the menu ejecutivo.
El Trapiche is located in Palermo Hollywood on Paraguay.
El Obrero wins this contest.
Excellent food at a good price in a good atmosphere. It is worth the trip to the ‘hood and the extra cost of the taxi.