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Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

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Chennai (Madras...
posts: 360
reviews: 16
Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

First, a big ‘Thank You’ to all the people who take time to post here and the experts for putting in as much effort as they do to help travellers like us. This has to be one of the politest, kindest forums on TA:) All the advice was spot on from changing currency at the Bank de la Nacion to restaurant suggestions. Can’t tell you how much you guys enhanced our trip!

Our stay in BsAs was part of our 23 day trip (including 3 full travel days!!) across the continent, starting with 3 nights in Rio, 6 in Peru, 7in BsAs, 2 in El Calafate and 2 in Iguassu before departing via Sao Paulo. The freak ash clouds on Oct 16 put paid to our trip to El Calafate and we ended up staying one extra night in Lima and 2 more in BsAs. In the event we were grateful for the longer stay and the more relaxed pace in BsAs after more than a week of hotel hopping!

Following is a list - not in any particular order - of the things we loved in Buenos Aires and those that we liked less:)

We loved staying in our beautifully restored apartment building - The Poetry Building - in Recoleta. Our first time in an apartment! Loved Recoleta, its beautiful buildings and its Parisian feel.

Loved living like locals, picking up medialunas from the neighbourhood bakery, getting recognised by the people in the Locutaria, Lavanderia and the grocery:)

Loved how friendly and helpful the people were and how some went out of their way to help, to make sure we went the right way, to ensure we were safe!!

We loved our tour with Carla of Buenos Aires Historico which included the Plaza de Mayo, Congresso, a ride on the A line as well as the H line to Parque de Patricios, La Boca (actually liked it) and San Telmo. She knows her history and takes pains to show you places outside the regular tourist beat.

Also enjoyed our guided visit of the Recoleta Cemetary, and a walk around Recoleta & Retiro with Esteban also from Buenos Aires Historico.

Really enjoyed our guided visits of the quirky Palacio Barolo and the beautiful Teatro Colon. As also a wonderful jazz show at the Thelonius Jazz club.

Loved the Evita museum, more so our lunch of Brie onion crepes and Sidre in the cafe ...Yumm! Thank you to all those who recommended it

Loved the Museo Xul Solar and the Malba and regretted not having time for the Bellas Artes. Did pop into the Museo Metropolitano for pics.

Loved watching a Tango milonga at Confiteria Ideal. Were very disappointed that we missed the outdoor milonga in Plaza Dorrego because of the elections. Did not want to risk returning to San Telmo at night considering Amici Miei was closed for dinner and all of Centro seemed eerily quiet and deserted

Surprisingly liked the Submerino and Churros in Cafe Tortoni (less crowded on Election Sunday) and our lunch at Cafe Los Angelitos. Touristy cafes in other cities haven’t usually lived up to hype

Our Tigre excursion with Delta unplugged was everything we expected it to be. Nice sunny day, great company and great food. Ana & Ralph are great hosts. Highly recommended

Actually liked Florida street and Galerios Pacifico!!! Touristy but worth a visit. Also the Borges Cultural Centre.

Loved that shop assistants would let us know that they were available if we needed anything and then left us alone. A very dear friend who goes ballistic at the overly attentive hassle of sales people at home would love it here:) As mentioned in another post did find the closed doors strange though! Especially since we did not ever sense any danger

Loved browsing the boutiques of Palermo, although I found most of them too trendy for my tastes. I know my daughter would have needed another suitcase! Couldn’t resist splurging on a bag and a pair of shoes from Rossi & Caruso:)

We had no problems with any taxis we hailed except for the one we took outside La Cabrera - he hailed us actually! Let our guard down this one time and gave him a fifty note and got returned a fake twenty!!! A very bad fake according to Brent of Poetry:) A nice souvenir from our trip:) Do not take taxis that solicit you outside touristy places. We usually don’t, but.....:)

We enjoyed walking around the San Telmo Feria for a while but much preferred taking it all in from the vantage point of the balcony of Amici Miei! We had planned to reserve a table for the night and have lunch elsewhere, but when we learnt they were closed at night we stayed on for lunch and had another great meal

Loved our dinner at Artemisia and at La Ola de Felix and several simple meals at Filo, La Querencia, Tea Connection and El Sanjuanino. Didn’t like Cumana as much. Saw lots of take away places for pasta and gnocci and other goodies but never had the time to try them out

Could be our spice starved palates, but we found the Chilly Chicken and vegetable fried rice at China Deli in Paseo Alcorta surprisingly good!!! (Went to the mall to stock up on wine for the dry weekend:)

Loved the Fugazetta Pizza in El Cuartito! Did not realise we could order by the slice till after we had ordered or we would have tasted more varieties

Loved stopping for cafe con leche at little cafes around town and the delightful pastries. Not cheap but oh so good!

The Malbecs - especially loved the Rosado’s - so much so that we smuggled some back in our checked baggage:) We always come well prepared with empty liquor cartons and bubble wrap:)

And the Helado.... loved, loved, loved the Helado! What is a holiday without ice cream and the ice cream here also lived up to its hype. It was comforting to return ‘home’ to tubs of ice cream in our freezer! Tried several brands but liked the classic Dulce de Leche from Freddos the best:)

There were very few things we did not like in Buenos Aires......our meal at La Cabrera comes to mind! Average steak (probably did not order right but that was the only 200gm cut on the menu) and sides and an awfully overcooked and leathery grilled Provolone. (they took it off our bill) The Dulce de leche Flan was also overcooked and grainy! And the lollipop tree at the end was quite tacky! Our only bad meal in all those 20 days!!

And yes the dog poop smeared and uneven sidewalks!!!

We were deeply disappointed that the Presidential elections upset our plans for a soccer match and the Mataderos Fair was cancelled as well. (Lesson learnt...check political events before finalising itinerary )

Hopefully we will return someday, not just to Buenos Aires but to all those other wonderful places in Argentina

Edited: 1:59 pm, November 13, 2011
Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,415
reviews: 159
1. Re: Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

Thanks loved your report, we've also just got back and still don't understand why you can't have a glass of wine during the election weekend, apart from that we also loved our trip.

Sydney Australia
posts: 428
2. Re: Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

Mashet, thank you for your report!!!!

I am trying to put together a list of things to do (VERY short notice of trip) and your suggestions have helped add a few extra things to my list :)

Buenos Aires...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 16,851
reviews: 19
3. Re: Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

Thank you so much, Mashet, for posting your thoughts on your visit.

I am so glad almost all of it worked out so well !

I wholeheartedly agree with you about the people here, warm, kind and helpful, all the time. And they have a great sense of humor ..

You did quite a lot, I am glad you like Amici Miei and Olla de Felix .. a couple of my favorites.

We are having dinner at Tandoor tonight.. that will fix my spice needs for the weekend ..

Thank you again for the great report !

Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 3,538
reviews: 47
4. Re: Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

Really enjoyed your trip report, mashet. Thanks for posting.

posts: 435
reviews: 172
5. Re: Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

Thanks for the post! We are staying at Poetry in February and looking forward to the apartment experience. Any recommendations for casual places in the area to eat/drink? Shopping tips? Laundry tips? Were debating about El Tigre with Delta Unplugged but it is great with your feedback. Thank you!!

(ps-which apt did you choose??)

Chennai (Madras...
posts: 360
reviews: 16
6. Re: Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

Thank you Scarlet and Marnie, Would not have been possible without all your advice:) Had been scouring all your posts for months before our trip!

Chrella and GeorgieBennet...happy you found my report useful. Trying to return a wee bit of all that I gained here!

Connie, we stayed in Studio 3C. Will be posting a review soon.

La Querencia on Juncal and Tea Connection on Arenales are the closest casual dining places at either ends of the block. We were so exhausted the first couple of days (just recovering from the trauma of the delayed flight followed by Lan office visits) that we ate at La Querencia 2 nights in a row! The Empanadas and casseroles were really good! We returned one more time for a light snack before the Jazz show. The crowd was mostly local and service very friendly. Definitely recommended. Tea Connection had a more younger crowd. We enjoyed sitting there one evening and just listening to the chatter...would not have been able to tolerate it at home:) OK for lunch or a light meal. We tried breakfast at the Gout cafe (opp Querencia) and found it expensive and not so good. We ended up picking up Medialunas and goodies from the bakery two doors down for breakfast

In any case Poetry has a printed list of restaurants, supermarkets, etc etc in each apartment!

Edited: 1:46 am, November 14, 2011
Chennai (Madras...
posts: 360
reviews: 16
7. Re: Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

Chrella, We have a ban on alcohol and large public gatherings the day before elections in India as well! As do several other countries. Mainly to prevent unruly behaviour and rioting more than to ensure voter turnout.

The restaurant we dined in that night did serve wine though......the chef claimed the rule only applied to the larger restaurants!!!!! So we needn't have bothered stocking up. But like the ice cream, it was comforting to know we had a few bottles at home:)

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,415
reviews: 159
8. Re: Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

Thanks for clearing that up mashet I didn't know that this happened in other countries as well.

Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
posts: 4,683
reviews: 63
9. Re: Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

<The restaurant we dined in that night did serve wine though......the chef claimed the rule only applied to the larger restaurants>

I loved that part ... that is soooooo Argentinian ...

Wonderful report, Mashet. Very instructive, even for a local!

Chennai (Madras...
posts: 360
reviews: 16
10. Re: Buenos Aires Trip Report - Oct 17- 26

Thanks Verobaires

Thought that kind of thing only happened in India! Expected you guys to be more law abiding:)