OK, so this was over a month ago and I’m just catching up. Or maybe I’m just finishing digesting… Either way, La Cabrera was an absolutely amazing place to eat.
When Christine had to choose her birthday restaurant, she hmmed and hawed between large hunks of delicious beef and Jewish food. A traditional Argentine meal won out and we made reservations for La Cabrera (very necessary, at least three days in advance – it’s a popular place!)
La Cabrera is a traditional Argentine parrilla (steakhouse/grill) located in trendy Palermo and is so popular that they actually have two locations about half a block away from each other. One is more modern and sits on a quiet corner and the other sits mid-block and has a more rustic appearance (it’s the original). We had been hearing about this place for months – the huge steaks, the wide selection of side dishes, the fact that you only have to order one dish for two people, and we were determined to get there before our time in Buenos Aires ran out.
After a little problem with reservations (same time, same name, different number and they implied it was our fault? Come on…) we sat down and looked around. Every dish at every table was bigger than my head – that is not an exaggeration. Even the caesar salad at the next table looked like it had enough leaves to clothe me. The advice about one dish looked like it needed to be heeded. The appetizers were completely unnecessary, they serve delicious fresh bread and chorizo and cheese right off the start. Looking back, I think I would have exploded a la Monty Python if I had actually ordered one and consumed it.
We ended up choosing the bife de ojo (ribeye), again on numerous positive reviews. When it arrived, the waiter had to set up another small table to fit it and all the side dishes – you can see the partial cow there on the wood surrounded by such dishes as potatoes, squash, apple sauce, olives and peppers in sauce, eggplant wit peanuts (my favourite, yum), creamed corn, chick peas, baked beans, peas in gravy, brussel sprouts, potato salad, and even a fried egg each there in the back. No wonder you just need one.
We dug in and ate. And ate. And ate. The meat was cooked perfectly (all 16 tonnes of it – I know I keep talking about how big it was, but it was one of the biggest steaks I have ever gotten in my life) and the side dishes were all great to some degree (we each had favourites, but all were gone by the end).
Despite the fact that we were stuffed with meat, the Chocolate Truffle ice cream caught Christine’s eye and we had to get some of that. Iced Velvet – it went down very easily, high quality truffle in there.
Another winner in my books – great food, pretty decent service (especially for this city), and a great deal (especially in this area). Realistically, this place is pretty cheap, as one dish is more than enough for two people – the steak was 40 pesos split between the two of us. I’d recommend this place to anyone looking for some great Argentine steak, and it was obvious that many others had done the same – there was lots of English floating around the restaurant, even a pack of backpackers eating well and staying within their budgets.
Lastly, a bit of bizarreness was added to the evening when a clown (who we were told works there) with an anarchy symbol painted on his hat came out of the kitchen and went outside to entertain the waiting crowds. Our waiter says he just likes doing it. Well, it lent a little more interest to the night.
La Cabrera, Cabrera 5099, Palermo
4831-7002, reservations necessary