We stayed at a B&B in Mendoza – the highlight was their garden in autumn! (Photo below) The dining room (for light meals in the evening and breakfast in the morning) looked out onto this garden – just beautiful!  Unfortunately too cool to swim while we were there.  You could still see the snow on the mountains (see above + feature photo).  I’ll note the name of the B&B when we get back to Canberra and check our journal notes.


We needed a taxi to take us out to this Mendoza vineyard restaurant above (feature photo shows the views outside)…we loved it here and I’ll post some photos of the beautiful food tomorrow (getting late in Australia & we’ve had a long day – drove to the coast from Canberra this afternoon:)

The vineyard restaurant “Clos de Chacras” (photo below) had a degustation menu as well – it wasn’t quite as sophisticated as the restaurant in the above photo but it was still quite lovely.  We had lunch at both places and then some very light plates of food (more wine of course!) at our B&B in the evening.  Photo of beautiful garden at B&B above.

Mendoza Cafes

Many gorgeous small cafes in the village of Mendoza too.  Photo below was a particularly attractive one…having worked in an Architects’ office for 7 years (in my 20s) gave me a love of good &/or interesting architecture.  I also take photos when I think our sons (both Builders) might be interested (one son is a master craftsman as well).  All of us love music and we were impressed with the music at this cafe as well – added to the relaxed yet vibrant ambiance.

 

After having 2 big lunches at vineyards on the previous days, we decided on a light lunch on our 3rd day in Mendoza…photo above is of a homemade pie made at our favourite cafe (photo above too)…will note the name later.  We often have a lighter eating day after indulging too much!  (The pie was quite small😉…I think Tony had 2 but he can eat/drink what he likes and stays slim😜).  Our room at the B&B had a small table/chairs + a microwave so on the last evening we bought some bread, cheese, fresh toms etc. and had a pleasant night in:)

BUENOS AIRES

We stayed in The Palermo neighbourhood of BA at The Glu Hotel – a small/newish (in 2015) “boutique” hotel – very modern and the staff were so warm, friendly and helpful.  We loved it and there are lots of lovely cafes, a great market and a few good restaurants nearby too.  A photo from the hotel site below:

Some good foodie finds in BA:

Lucio

One of our favourite places in Palermo area (where we stayed) for a late breakfast/brunch (we discovered that the locals aren’t really into breakfast) was Lucio.  It looks like a Pizzeria from the outside but inside they serve the most delicious, freshly baked medialunas (croissants)

Mercado De San Telmo – main food market but a great place for coffee too – see photo below:


Most vendors speak a bit of English but the older people not so much and like most places, they seemed to appreciate at least an attempt at greetings.

On topic of communication…

We often take a small phrasebook or similar (helps with food names etc) to places like this plus restaurants especially when we know there won’t be an English menu.  However, in BA most of the medium/larger restaurants had an English menu so it was very easy to spend a week in the city with hardly any Spanish.  We keep meaning to learn more for another visit to Spain or Sth America!

I’ll add some more of our fave food finds once I can refer to our journal (on the road at the moment).

TOURS

We organised a private walking tour with a guide as there were no “tours for tips” in BA at that time.  Our guide was a young woman who had recently graduated from history at University.  Of course she knew her Argentinian history but, in some ways, was lacking in tour guide skills so we won’t recommend her (she might not even be doing it anymore!) but she did take us to some interesting places including “the first European cafe” in Buenos Aires.  Here is their very first coffee machine!  (Photo below).  More photos and information tomorrow:)

Within this famous “first” cafe (will note name later) there was a wax model of the first Italian immigrants who opened the cafe – photo below:

Photo below:

LA BOCA (Caminito) neighbourhood – the traditional housing of the Italian immigrant ship workers.  There are also buskers (mostly tango dancers) entertaining tourists nearby…if you stop to take photos our guide tells us that they have high expectations about how much they should be paid.  So we took her advice and didn’t linger as we have plenty of tango dancing photos from our travels in Spain.  However, the dancing did add to the vibrancy of the area as we walked through.  A pleasant hour or so followed by lunch at…

El Obrero – a very ordinary looking restaurant serving traditional local foods such as short ribs with chips (don’t expect much salad or veg in BA especially in this area).  This place is popular with local workers and tourists as well as people pulling up in luxury cars to grab a quick something for lunch.  A fascinating place!

We initially visited this neighbourhood of BA with our tour guide (we moved around the city with her on both the trains + in taxis) and we then returned by ourselves in a taxi.  It felt quite safe during the day but we were told by our hotel (& our tour guide) that it’s wise to take care, especially at night, as while it’s a functioning place for workers, it’s also a touristy place known for theft etc.


Info on BA

Buenos Aires is the Capital and most populous city of Argentina. Buenos Aires can be translated as “fair winds” or “good airs”.   It is a top tourist destination and is known for its preserved Spanish/European style architecture and rich cultural life.  Wikipedia 2017


Photo above was one of our favourite casual restaurants in BA.  It had a wonderful ambiance and great Italian food at reasonable prices – being away so long on our trips, we do try to budget but also keep in mind that we only live once!  BA has a large Italian/Argentinian population which adds a wonderful vibrancy to this unique city.  I’ll note the name of the restaurant later.

The photo below shows our encounter with a famous Argentinian football star.  We can’t remember his name now but our city tour guide was certainly very excited – he was flattered and obliging when she requested a photo.  This is a famous, historic bar/cafe in BA.



Off the topic of BA but an amusing memory trigger!  I’ve copied this into my next post on our trip to the USA…

The experience in BA, described above, reminded us of when we visited Hollywood, LA for the first time – after a long flight from Sydney.  After just 20 min in Hollywood I was being welcomed to the USA by the famous actor, Will Smith!  (Photo below).  More about that in my next post about our trip to the US in 2007.

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Back to BA…


Photo above:  Strolling about BA…the Spanish Colonial buildings a beautiful.  This is a park in the upmarket area of BA (I’ll note the name of the neighbourhood once I get home and check our journals).  Not far from here is a historic bookshop/cafe that was once a theatre (photo below):

We returned here for coffee the next day – we enjoyed it…they served lovely pastries too.


More photos and text to come soon:)

Recipe for ARGENTINIAN TIRAMASU – EASY!…according to SBS Australia/Food

There are many Italian/Argentinians evident by the number of Italian restaurants – especially in BA.  So Argentina has adopted this classic dessert as one of its own. This tiramisu recipe uses savoiardi biscuits, also know as Italian sponge finger biscuits. Omit the marsala for a child-friendly version.

Ingredients
* 3
 eggs separated
* 110 g
 (½ cup) caster sugar

* 250 g
 mascarpone

* 250 ml
 (1 cup) brewed espresso coffee, cooled

* Marsala;  Tia Maria; Kalua…this recipe calls for a small amount – just 1 tablespoon but we like more😜

* 250 g
savoiardi (sponge finger) biscuits

* 2 tbsp 
cocoa powder

Method:

In an electric mixer, whisk the eggwhites and sugar on medium speed until thick and glossy and the mixture holds stiff peaks (about 8 minutes).
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and mascarpone until combined. Add the eggwhite in two batches, folding gently to combine.

Combine coffee and marasala in a shallow bowl. Working with one biscuit at a time, briefly dip biscuits in cold coffee (biscuits will disintegrate if soaked for too long) then arrange in a single layer to cover the base of a deep 28 cm x 16 cm (1.5 litre) ceramic dish. Cover with half the mascarpone then repeat with another layer of biscuits and the remaining mascarpone. Dust the surface with cocoa powder and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.

Cut into slices and serve.

MAKING TIRAMASU FOR KIDS…I sometimes make a small 1 for adults & 1 for children:

Liqueur can be replaced with either orange juice or the equivalent amount of cooled coffee – I use decaf (if you don’t want them buzzing all night!).  If you/they don’t like that I’ve heard it works with a strong hot chocolate.  You can make this into individual serves using a small glass or bowl.  If you want it to be even healthier for kids I have also found a recipe on the Net using ricotta cheese and it was quite nice too.

Use Kahlua or Tia Maria or Marsala liqueur.