Impressions of Buenos Aires
“Numero trece por favor, con ensalada... y coke.” In broken Spanish, I order the number 13 combo meal from a restaurant on one of the many bustling streets of Buenos Aires. It's a meal featuring rib-eye steak, a side of salad, and a glass of coke.
The cashier nods in acknowledgment and places my order. Minutes later, my meal arrives. The steak is luscious and I savor each juicy bite. A meal of this caliber could very well be a mainstay at the more upscale restaurants of Manhattan, purchased at the expense of a Ben Franklin, or at least a few Andrew Jacksons. Yet here, I was only down 50 pesos—about $10 US—and what seems to me like an incredible deal on a luxury meal, is actually run-of-the-mill for the average Buenos Airean. After all, half a dozen of these grill restaurants pepper this street alone.
I finish my lunch and decide to grab a coffee before continuing to explore the city, so I walk a few blocks and head to, of all places, Starbucks for a Frappuccino.
... Yes, I know... But I am conducting an exercise: I have to see for myself how our iconic American coffee fares in Argentina.
Maybe it’s simply the effect of being in an exciting new corner of the world, but the coffee does seem to taste richer, creamier, and somewhat more sophisticated than its North American equivalent. So, armed with my Venti, I continue exploring the streets of Buenos Aires.
Walking around, it's easy to forget you're in a South American city, as so much of its design hails from Europe. Wide boulevards cut through densely packed blocks of buildings in a manner that echoes Paris, while classical sculptures and architectural accents hint of Rome. Too bad we're only here for a few days. I'd love to come perform here again, and explore the nuances of one of South America's leading cities.
January 20, 2013