I take it back. All of it. The trash I talked about the food here is irrelevant now after eating at La Cabrera last night. I’d read about the restaurant before I came to Buenos Aires, and the recommendation was confirmed by my cousin Rachel, who spent some time here earlier this year. Apparently, the New York Times and Rachel both speak the truth. The first time I made plans to go to La Cabrera with some friends from my Spanish class, I came down with the plague (see below), so I was really pleased when they told me they’d love to go back with me last night.
La Cabrera is a really old restaurant in the Palermo neighborhood (which I’ve come to learn is the neighborhood of most of the really good places to eat). True to what I’d heard, they serve champagne and chorizo on the street, under the heat lamps, while you wait (and, apparently, you always wait). Janne, my German friend, and I arrived a bit late and I was confused that I didn’t see our other friends, but we quickly realized that they were at La Cabrera Norte, the second restaurant they opened next door a few years ago due to the constant overflow of the first place (sort of the Stray Cat of Buenos Aires). Unfortunately, there’d been a problem with the reservation, and the six who’d arrived on time were all that could fit at the table. After a lot of confusing Spanish with a very uninterested hostess, Janne and I were told that we could have our own table at La Cabrera (1), outside, which we happily took.
As soon as we sat down, our adorable waiter moved the heat lamp so it was perfectly placed and recommended a bottle of Malbec, which we promptly ordered. He brought us a basket of really good bread, as well as two different spreads. Because Janne had been to La Cabrera already, she knew it was best to split a meal, so we ordered a chorizo appetizer and a lomo for the main course (similar to a filet). The chorizo was amazing, and came with both a garlic pepper sauce and some sort of fruit spread. By the time we finished it, I was pretty much full. Then, out came the lomo—with THIRTEEN side dishes/sauces. It was like art, seriously. Four enormous pieces of meat sat surrounded by dishes in every color. Pumpkin purree with raisins. Garlic and sweet sauce. White beans with pesto. Garlic mashed potatoes. Zucchini with cheese sauce. It went on and on, and each one tasted perfect with the exactly-cooked-to-mind-blowing-perfection beef. Just when I thought I couldn’t get any happier, our waiter brought us two complimentary glasses of champagne.
After dinner we met up with the rest of our friends and went to a bar called Azucar down the street. It was fun, if uneventful, except for one detail: My friend Coy, from school, is black, and so are his two friends who are visiting. At the bar people stared with their mouths hanging open at the three of them, not in a mean way, but in genuine curiosity, it seemed. Other people in the bar literally gawked at them, particularly when—of course—Michael Jackson came on and all three tried to moonwalk.