Monday, March 21, 2011

Parrilla Los Hermanitos, Buenos Aires: Choripan,Bondiola, Paty, and Churrasquito on the Costanera Sur- Street Food in Buenos Aires

The Club de Pescadores marks the beginning of your riverside grill adventure.

Argentina isn't exactly a street food Mecca, but one taste of the country's greatests traditions, grilled meats, served at the outdoor shacks and stands found throughout the country amplifies Argentina's antiphonal meat choir in stating that meat this good requires little more. One could devote a trip to just comparing choripanes without tire.

The parrilla, pronounced pareesha in Argentine dialect,can be found in every neighborhood, and perhaps on every block, it seems. This is the fire roasted meat cooked on a grill, the national dish of Argentina.

Along the Costanera Sur, between the Rio de la Plata and the Jorge Newbury Airport, you will find a row of parrilla shacks serving typical grilled meat sandwiches. It is odd to look for grilled meats along a river, but one look at the murky waters, and you shall forget about seafood as easily as the Argentines.

All of them have choripan(chorizo on a roll), bondiola, (pork shoulder on a roll), patys or hamburguesas(beef patties on a roll), and churrasquito(steak on a roll). Many carry finer steak cuts like vacio(flank), or bife de chorizo(NY steak). There can also be matambres(thin-cut flank steak)or anything else the grill man desires.

There are an overwhelming number of parrillas in Buenos Aires, and the usual sources will steer you towards the expensive, tourist-friendly,ho-hum steak houses. Perhaps you might want to start with the street version, quality meats and sausages cooked by veteran grill men, a go from there.

Parrilla Los Hermanitos has been around for more than 20 years on the Costanera Sur in Buenos Aires. Their menu consists of the choripan, bondiola, paty, and churrasquito. Thier special cut is the vacio, a whole cut of flank, cooked slowly, then sliced to order onto the grill for a moment before a luscious steak with a sexy bit of blood and pink flesh is placed on a hard bread roll. Each item is around $3.50USD!

Fresh Argentine style pork chorizo is grilled slowly,these sausages have deep spicing and their scent dominates the river scene.

Local Benidorm mayo and mild aji chile dressings are found at all the parrilla shacks. The containers confused me at first; I thought they looked more like construction supplies, but these are condiments.

Each place prepares various salads, an essential part of the parrilla tradition;Los Hermanitos even sets up a showy display of condiment packets for those who prefer the individual dose.

"Would you like a fried egg on your bondiola?" The answer comes slower than my enthusiastic body language, and the egg is cracked on the griddle.

The marinaded pork shoulder has honey, garlic, white wine, and herbs and contains enough moistness that a hard roll is needed to keep it from sliding away. The roll used for the different panes(sandwiches) at the parrillas is the pan arabe, it's similar to a french roll.I don't know what this bondiola is like without the egg, and I probably never will.You must get one of these while in Argentina.

The choripan, Argentina's more famous street food has only been known to me in LA and Mexico based Argentine restaurants, usually with commercially purchased chorizos. The difference is striking. The chorizo is grilled,split open, then set in the bun, delivering a taste that strikes moments before your teeth pop through the zippy, pork meat and casing. Some marinated tomatoes and bright chimichurri only raise the stakes; the chorizo's presence won't be denied, so dress away.

Parrilla Los Hermanitos
Av. Rafael Obligado Costanera
beginning at the Club de Pescadores
Costanera Sur
Buenos Aires, Argentina
afternoons 'til early evenings


Uncouth Gourmands said...

All I can say is "WOW!" After reading the last two posts on Argentina, I feel this overpowering urge to plan a trip there ASAP! Grilled meat has an uncanny power over me!

Argento Wine said...

Yum -- you found one of the best places for street food in Buenos Aires.

Argento Wine said...