SUNDAY: It was Sunday – another gorgeous day in February - and so off to San Telmo. It seemed less crowded than last year, but still a very lively and exciting atmosphere with tango dancing in the street, street musicians, human statues engaging the little kids and puppets and parrots and plenty of crafts and antiques. We bought some well-made and attractive crafty presents. Last year we had a very good lunch at La Brigada, but chose to pass on it this year as we heard of their racial prejudice.
We wanted to have lunch in 1880 and tried to call for reservations; this was my first time on the phone in Spanish, so I felt a bit relieved that there was no answer (LOL). Undaunted (the Website gave no indication of their not being open) we walked there from Plaza Dorrego ~less than 10 minutes. It was closed – assumedly for vacation, but we will try again the first Sunday in March. I am on it DR DAWGGY, and maybe by then I will be able to make that telephone reservation?
And not to worry, we didn’t miss lunch; we walked back on a different, residential street enjoying the site of multi-generational families out on Sunday afternoon, and we had a delicious lunch at DESNIVEL. This Parilla is friendly, informal, noisy and fun, with a helpful wait staff. We met a couple from Cambridge and enjoyed a bit of a chat in the King’s English with our carrott salad (fresh and tasty) Provoletta (fair) and Bife de Chorizo (jugoso y delicioso – really exceptional) good beer and wine (Malbec Rose). Walked to our collectivo stop and headed back to Recoleta, stopping at Volta for ice cream to enjoy on our balcony, overlooking a charming, garden terrace.
MONDAY: It was raining a soft, warm rain that is so much needed by the farmers and the flowers here that we appreciated it, too. The rain cooled things down and supported a relaxed, lazy day. We walked to lunch at SANTE that was quite tastey (baba ganouge, risotto with herbs, curried chicken) and the servers were as cheerful and helpful as they could be - and very adorable, DH points out. A quiet evening at home: bought fresh Pasta and sauce from QUIERO MAS and the best Flan in the world, then we watched a rented DVD (no comment).
TUESDAY: We took the collectivo (yea, DH) to Palermo (chico?) to the EVITA MUSEUM. We found the exhibition to be really good – the building itself is quite interesting and lovely and the multi-media displays (with some English) were fine. I enjoyed the mix and match of media, costume displays and language with the historical and cultural emphasis (of course, it is Evita) engaging. It was helpful to have had some context in advance – but one could find it interesting straight up.
Good TA recommendation led us to lunch in the EVITA CAFE, on the terrace. And what a delicious lunch that was! As I mentioned in a different post, I had one of the very best risotto with wild and mixed mushrooms I have ever had. DH loved his cheeze (with other stuff ) crepe with salad. We tried the Sidra and it was crisp and delicious, and not too sweet as cider can be (for me). Excellent!
A nice stroll of the neighborhood followed – I am addicted to nice strolls of these BsAs neighborhoods and parks, and this part of Palermo is just great. We walked to the Japanese Garden (almost got killed crossing Libertador where we thought we had time –yikes!) We strolled and sat with the ducks. An interesting mix of Zen like beauty, large mouthed fish and highrise buildings on the perimiter. Found our bus-stop and headed home.
WEDNESDAY: Quite hot today (~90 f) DH catching up on work at home and I making reservations (on line and on the phone) for next week at San Antonio de Areco. Back to lunch at LOS INMORTALES (got the spelling right this time) and got a big bottle of Sidra (La Victoria – again, quite nice) and again, our favorite wilted spinache & mushroom salad followed by some pizza: the salad was not as good (not wilted and a bit watery, but the pizza was very good). Walked to the Design Center for a stroll and meandered about – this is the life!
THURSDAY: OK SCARLETT – YES! It is hot enough for me! It must have been about 95 f. So, naturally, we chose today to go to the Tigre Delta :O) Happily, we are sailers on the Cheseapeake Bay, so not unfamiliar with hot, hot hot, humid days. We took collectivo #101 to Retiro Station and were ’adopted’ on the bus by a very nice lady of ‘a certain age’ who insisted on taking us directly to the window for the ticket to Tigre.
RICARDO BA, we followed your advice and took the direct (regular) train to the Delta and Tren de la Costa back. And so glad we did. At Tigre, walked to the McDonald’s sign and easily found the Tourist Office (ENGLISH) and got maps etc. We had decided that we had an obligation to TA folks to lunch and then describe GATO BLANCO restaurant. So, we bought Lancha tickets (with a restaurant discount) from the the Gato Blanco booth instead of from the regular boat ticket booth – not really any $$ difference. We chose the lancha instead of the more touristy catamaran (we met several tourists who really enjoyed the cat, though) and were not sorry; what fun to be travelling with folks who live and work on the Delta – kids etc. The trip was about 45 minutes each way and you see vacation spots, lovely homes, swimmers, kyakers, water skiiers on the Sarmiento River. I was so impresssed with the variety of trees and shrubs along the coast. Loved it. The lancha is open, so as it moves the breeze is delightful – and it is covered, so not too hot. We were never uncomfortable.
We landed at Gato Blanco and they were expecting us. We sat on the lovely terrace right on the water – delightful. The staff were gracious and helpful. My husband ordered beer, so I ordered a small bottle of dry white wine; the waiter came back and said they were out of that wine, but that the house white was similar and let me taste it before deciding on that or another white. It was excellent - dry, crisp and not too sweet. The food was good. The rolls and butter were excellent – not to be taken forgranted. We split a proveletta which was top notch. DH had a lovely salad, fries and a mushroom omelette that he found tasty and well prepared (it looked fluffy). I had a veal shnitzel which was just OK. All in all, it is a large, somewhat touristy and well run restaurant with decent prices and pretty good food. Next time I would want to try a smaller, more local place, but would not hesitate to return to Gato Blanco, either.
We returned on the in-bound lancha then walked to the fruit and crafts market. We were a mite worn out by then – and so did not do any damage (DH was not sorry). The Tren de la Costa was nearby and free that day as there was some kind of employee strike (at least I think that’s what it was). The train is lovely; comfortable, huge windows and beautiful scenery. [Actually, we enjoyed seeing the smaller towns along the regular train, as well] We got off at San Isidro and found it as appealing as others had described it. We just mosied around a bit, saw the Cathedral and plaza, had helados and got on the next train for Maipu Station. There, we walked to the Mitre Station (mostly through a well-marked indoor passageway) and took the train to Retiro. At Retiro, we held fast to our bags (thank you, PUNTA LUGANO) and found the #101 collectivo for home.