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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
PARRILLA A LENA
This is a meat crazy city and nation and there are hundreds of these places scattered all over the place. Most specialize in steak and French fries. This one was a little bit different.
Cabana Las Lillas is arguably the best restaurant for meat in the entire nation. And La Caballeriza Parilla A Lena is located in the same building just down the street in a newly revitalized port section known as Puerto Madero.
Like many parillas (meat grills), this one has a roaring fire in the back and you can watch the experts cook your meat.
This place not only specialized in what you would call "normal" cuts of meat but meat by-products, too. Locals go nuts over 'em. We bravely started out our meal by sharing an order of beef tripe and sweetbreads -- or so we thought! I've had both and the latter can be downright delicious. And when cooked properly, tripe (stomach lining) can be good, too. It is definitely an acquired taste! What came to our table was a plate featuring two meats. One was most certainly tripe. The other, was not sweetbreads (the thymus gland of young cows) but rather beef or pork intestines. Kind of the South American version of "chitlins" in the U.S. or as they are properly spelled "chitterlings." We probably ordered the intestines by mistake. While some English is spoken in most restaurants in B.A. and especially in this tourist heavy neighborhood, our server here knew very little, if any, English. But we didn't expect him to speak our language and that's half the fun of traveling! Trying to figure everything out. One of these days I'm gonna get off my humongus rear end and learn some languages. I know a little German, just enough to get me into trouble and that's about it.
We sampled each and the tripe was actually very good. Tender and perfectly grilled. The intestines were, well they were okay but the thought of eating them was a little put-offish. We left most of them on the platter and washed the taste out of our mouths with an inexpensive but tasty glass of South American white wine.
For our main courses my wife went with a bife chorizo (sirloin) and I ordered a large T-Bone. We each ordered our steaks "muy jagosa" which translates into juicy and rare and that's exactly how they came to the table. In Argentina, 99% of the locals order French fries with their steaks. But we got tired of fries and took advantage of "twice baked rellenos" on the menu. Those turned out to be loaded, twice baked potatoes with plenty of sour cream, cheese and bacon.
This is a nice place. Ask any local in Puerdo Madero in Buenos Aires and they'll steer you here. And in the event that they are not familiar with this place, ask them for vectors to Cabana Las Lillas. They'll definitely know where it's located and you'll find La Caballeriza at the end of the same building in the direction of the moving bridge. It's an easy stroll from the beautiful Hilton Hotel where we stayed.
ADDITIONAL BUENOS AIRES RESTAURANT REVIEWS: