Arrived on Friday and did not have to pay a reciprocity fee. I cahnged money at Banco de la Nacion at a rate of $3.6 AR to $1 US. The hotel set up my ride and all went smoothly. The Mine Hotel was great and let me into my room at 1100. This was after the Freddo fiasco I rather not repeat. Remember cuarto is 1/4 and cuatro is 4. I took the Friendly Tours city tour booked through the hotel. This was a great start to the trip. The tour consisted of stops at Plaza de Mayo with Casa Rosada and Cabildo, Congresso, San Telmo, La Boca and Caminito, and Recoleta. They drove through Retiro and Puerto Madero as well. Most of the folks on the tour were American tourists but a couple of Canadians and a lady from Panama.
Friday night after a siesta I went to dinner at Nemos. Since it is Lent, I wanted fish or seafood. I did not have a reservation but didn´t need to wait at 1130pm. The trout was great as well as the Alamos Reserva Malbec. The hostess made a point of making sure I entered the taxi they called for me.
Saturday morning I took a taxi to Recoleta. I started at the cemetery even though the Friendly Tours also stopped at the cemetery. The Friendly Tours stop was somewhat brief. A stop at Eva Perons and a few others. After the cemetery I basically used the Buenos Aires walking tour for Recoleta. I stopped at the church, the cultural center, Buenos Aires Design (good way to cool off), Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (free), and the hippie fair. I met Randy for lunch at Rodi Bar. Randy was at a table when I arrived but unfortunately we did not have Walter Mathau as the waiter. I did see him and he is the image in the Time Out Guide. After lunch I walked around Recoleta to include the Alvear Palace Hotel lobby. I then walked down Las Heras to Alto Palermo shopping mall. This was a great opportunity for a cold drink and making change. I then walked down Santa Fe and viewed the many shops. I finally made my way back to Palermo Soho. Saturday night I dined at La Cabrera. I had a reservation for 830pm. It was amazing how many folks did not know they needed a reservation, Thanks TA and experts. I did not order any appetizers and only used the chimi churi and mushroom sides but could not finish the regular portion of ojo de bife. The waiter was great, an older gentlemen. He got a kick out of the fact I ordered the regular portion. I also had a nice Alamos Reserva Malbec again and a couple of appertivos after the meal. Some locals but many tourists. I then grabbed a cab and made my way to La Pena del Colorado. I was lucky to find the last open seat. The three portenas were nice enough to let me join their table. The music was very good. The band consisted of two guitar players, drums, and accordion. The music started about 1015pm and lasted until midnight. No cover charge and just one Quilmes. A great deal. Sunday morning I took a taxi to Plaza de Mayo. The Friendly Tour did not go into the Cathedral so this was an opportunity to visit. The church is beautiful. The main difference I noted from European churches was the minimal use of stain glass. There was some use but not the same scale as say Notre Dame. I then took the Subte A wooden subway to Congresso. One tip for riding the subte. If you want to reverse course you need to walk a block instead of entering the same entrance you exited. I made my way down Defensa for the fair. I enjoyed the street performers (tango dancers, live statues, bands from one person to 12). I am not a big shopper so the booths were viewed but not shopped. I made my way to Plaza Lezama to get away from the hordes of people at Plaza Dorrego. Why do people always walk towards me even if they are on the opposite side of the street. It is like I am a magnet. I digress. The park was a great opprtunity to sit in the shade and people watch. I followed Dr Dawggys advice and ate at Parilla 1880 across the street from the park. I was probably the only tourist. The service and food were great. I had the bife de chorizo (1/2 portion)...I am learning and the boudin de pan (bread pudding) with dulce de leche and a cafe. After lunch I took a taxi back to Palermo Soho and visited Plaza Serrano, also called (Cortolozar). The Limbo restaraunt was a great repriveve from the sun. They have a handful of tables outside, a few couches under cover, and then tables inside. The best part is the terrace where you can look down on the plaza, people watch, and have a cold beer. No Quilmes but Heineken on tap (chopp). After the plaza, I made my way back to the hotel and made a reservation for the Thelonious Jazz Club. The web site listed a 2130 show. The show started promptly at 2215. The act was the Daniel Guggenheim quartet. Daniel was born in Switzerland. He made all of the introductions in english because he did not speak spanish. It was interesting to hear the drummer count in english as well. The first set lasted about an hour. The set was composed of some original songs as well as other composers. The break was short, maybe 15 minutes. The final set finished at midnight. I think it is a standard time for ending the show. I saw they had Luigi Bosca Reserva on the menu and had to try. What a great wine! Price was $75 AR or a little over $20 US. The cover charge for the show was $18AR or about
$5 US. After the show I made a made a mad dash to El Cuartito for a late night feast. Warning...if you are on a date avoid the fugazeta. Since I was solo, I enjoyed the onion decadence. BTW if you are solo just order portions. The chica (girly pizza) was six slices. Again the waiters made sure my taxi arrived and sent me on my way happy and content. I will not comment on the taxis just yet so I don´t jinx myself. Thanks Dr Dawggy and Karma. I`m sorry I don't have the literary talent of Brooklyn but hopefully I paint the picture of three great days in BA.