Cheto means "snobby" in Argie slang. Which brings me to restaurant review number one. (The Buenos Diaries is moonlighting as a food blog for this post.) Anyway, on Saturday I was feeling a little homesick and went in search of cafe comfort food. I had heard a lot about Mark's Deli in Palermo - like that there were real sandwiches, even brownies and lemonade! I was sold. Well... it was... okay. I actually feel uncomfortable even writing that but I don't want to criticize Mark's too harshly. Bottom line - the food may pass for upscale and interesting in Buenos Aires but it was pretty much just your basic "trendy cafe" fare - sandwiches on olive bread with smoked salmon or goat cheese or roasted red peppers, etc. The coffee was very good, and the pastries looked good. But it was simply not buena onda. I should know by now what I'm getting myself into when I go into that part of Palermo, but as I was sitting in Mark's I couldn't help thinking two things. First, if I wanted to live in Brentwood, I wouldn't have left LA. And two, am I on the set of The L-Word? Basically, it was just ridiculously trendy and not in an effortless way, either. The customers all rocked the same deliberate bedhead and this month's issue of Vogue makeup (bright lips, bare eyes) and variations on the same outfit. It was very see and be seen. I guess I still haven't learned that what is casual comfort food at home is sometimes sold as very hip and modern here. And the waiters were pretty but rude. I actually had quite a nice time at Mark's, but mainly because Jamie & I were able to make fun of the cheto-ness and focus on planning our next great adventures (to Colombia and Israel. Possibly living on the beach in Costa Rica.)
When dinnertime rolled around I was very ready for some down and dirty street food. Actually, I literally googled "dirty street parrilla buenos aires" and it came up with La rosalía, the one in Palermo, not San Telmo. First things first, go there. Just go. You will not regret it. It was awesome for several reasons. The grill faces the street (always a good sign), it was packed with locals, the waitress was exceptionally friendly, and it was very no-frills. Restaurants are always better when the focus is on the food, no? We tried to order a few things before coming up with something on the menu that was actually available. It was morcilla sandwiches (slathered with chimichurri) and mollejas. And they were AMAZING. All in all, with a bottle of wine thrown in, the bill came to 30 pesos (for 2 people.) Not bad.