What to Order at a Parrilla

(Photo by Ostrosky Photos)

Argentine beef is renowned world wide for its quality and flavor so it’s only logical that it be such a hit with visitors to the country.  Parrillas however, offer much more than just beef, as a real asado also include offals (achuras) and delicacies such as Chorizo and Morcilla  (find a full list of translated meat cuts here.).  Below is a list of the 10  most common asado specials.

Provoleta– Served at the beginning of the asado whilst the rest sizzles, this is actually not meat but a tasty cheese. Never mind, it goes on the grill all the same and is topped with a bit of olive oil and oregano.

Chorizo– Many have written about the Argentine chorizo and the famous choripan, and for good reason. This tasty  grilled sausage is a parrilla favorite and a must try for visitors. It’s close relative, the salchicha parrillera, is also well worth trying.

Morcilla– Better known in English as blood sausage or blood pudding, this soft and dark delicacy, may not be for the squeamish but it is a delicious complement to the perfect asado. Not to be missed.

Chinchulin– It’s name comes from the Quechua word chunchul, meaning, intestine, and that’s exactly what it is, but don’t crinkle your nose until you’ve squeezed some lemon juice on it and tried it. It has a unique flavor and texture and is the favorite “achura” of many.

Molleja– This truly delicious asado staple is not as easy to get right, in terms of preparation, as others, so try it at a reputed parrilla where they’re sure to follow all the necessary procedures for perfect texture and flavor.  Squeeze a lemon and enjoy!

Riñon– Another favorite, but completely different in texture and flavor to chinchulines and mollejas is the kidney. They are especially tasty with a bit of provenzal sauce (parsley, garlic and oil) on top.

Tira de Asado: As it’s name suggests in Spanish (in English rack of ribs) this is a tasty asado classic. It is a good cut for those who enjoy their meat well done.

Vacio: or Flank steak is another very common asado cut. It is enjoyed both well done and medium rare, and is also commonly prepared in the oven with potatoes during the winter.

Entraña: Although traditionally this cut wasn’t  as often included in asados  as others, it has recently become very popular and for good reason. It is both low in fat and juicy at the same time, and is the perfect cut for those who like their meat medium rare or rare.

Bife: Steak, finally, the most well known cut. Sirloin steak (bife de chorizo) is the most common, and can be eaten well done, or rare. It can be ordered in two ways, either sliced in half and open, which is called mariposa (butterfly), or as it comes, in a slightly thicker version.  Tenderloin (bife de lomo) is a delicacy and considered to be THE finest meat cut.

Top 5 Restaurants in Palermo

(Starter at Hernan Gipponi Restaurant)

Hernán Gipponi: Ranked number 1 on Trip Advisor, this newcomer to the Palermo scene offers distinguished auteur cuisine with Spanish influences in the ground floor of our hotel. The renowned chef displays his culinary expertise, acquired at michelin starred restaurants such as the Guggenheim Bilbao and Quique Dacosta’s El Poblet in Denia, infusing each carefully prepared dish with subtle touches that make a big difference. We recommend you try the 7-step tasting menu with some of the remarkable wines selected by the president of the Argentine Sommelier Association, Andres Rosberg, and sommelier Martin Bruno. Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220-6820.

Paraje Arévalo: Although it might seem like another typical Palermo bistro, Estefanía Di Benedetto and Matías Kyrizis restaurant stands out as one of the best of its kind. Set in a simple antique atmosphere, this small gem acquires its sparkle from its refined dishes which feature grass fed meat, organic vegetables and spectacular home baked breads and patisserie.  Two alternatives are offered for dinner; a 6 step tasting menu, and another of 8, both unequaled. During the day they serve breakfast, 5 o clock tea, and a lunch menu. Arévalo 1502, Palermo. 4775-7759

Las Pizarras: A unique concept is behind the ever-changing dishes determined by what Chef Rodrigo Castillo picks daily from the market. The resulting menu is displayed in the evening on chalk boards (pizarras) promising a singular dinning experience imbued with flavors, freshness and overall quality.  What might you find on Las Pizarras chalkboards?  Pate, quail, duck, beef, homemade raviolis, and fish amongst other delicacies. Thames 2296, Palermo. 4775-0625

Casa Mun: The goal of Chef Mun in this intimate closed-door restaurant is to create a sense of community amongst the food lovers sitting at his grand table. His own passion for cuisine began at a young age and was inherited from his mother and later developed into a full time activity after studying under the likes of celebrity Chef Makota Okuwa amongst others. The dining experience he shares with his visitors includes Japanese, Korean, Chinese and California cuisines and prove to be good for both the palate and the spirit. 15-3356-0092.

Don Julio: Meat eating whilst you’re visiting Buenos Aires is probably on your agenda and there is no place like a traditional parrilla to do it. Don Julio, is just that, a relaxed homey environment, good wine but most of all a great place to satiate your inner carnivore.  Guatemala 4691, Palermo. 4831-9564.