A parrilla might seem an unlikely place to head for vegetarian options, but La Escondida in Palermo Viejo hides a fabulous self-serve vegetarian meal – in the form of a salad bar. Yes, a salad bar. I never imagined that I would recommend a salad bar. When I think salad bar, I think hospital cafeteria. This salad bar, however, is totally different. This salad bar had roasted eggplant, roasted potatoes, bitter micro-greens, leaf lettuce, radicchio, curly endive, flageolet beans, chickpeas, lentils, pickled vegetables, and – get this – candied shaved fennel, yummmmm! And there was more.
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Argentina is a country of extreme contrasts, a reality vividly displayed even in the international city of Buenos Aires. As Fendi-clad locals and international jet-setters prowl the high-end restaurants and clubs, on the other side of the sidewalks the poor walk the streets pulling carts, sorting recyclables from the garbage and scavenging useable items. Although this country has a long history of economic divide, the crash of the peso in 2001 exacerbated social problems.
I don’t know about you, but to me there is a difference between tourist-friendly and people-friendly. Yes, tourists are people, too – but you get my point. Personally, I tire easily of tourist-friendly places but people-friendly places almost always make me feel warm and fuzzy. The parrilla La Rosalía on Scalabrini Ortiz is warm and fuzzy.
On a Saturday night, around 11:30 pm, walking away from Palermo Viejo, hungry – but tired of tourist-friendly places, I passed by a crowded café, patrons spilling out onto the street.
I walked by.
A one-hour wait is much less painful when you are sipping free champagne and nibbling on free meats and cheeses. If you are looking for a well-kept secret, or a good place for a group of 8, try somewhere else. But if you are looking for an indulgent meal for 2-6 people at a hotspot restaurant, head for La Cabrera, in Palermo Viejo. You will fit right in whether you are sporting a T-shirt or an elegant dress.