Wow! An outstanding evening in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires…What an exciting deal!…Wine lovers, take note…

Monogrammed cloth napkins and plates were awaiting us as we were seated at La Cabrera last night.

When searching online for possible restaurants in the area, over and over again, La Cabrera popped up in our searches. This was one of the few restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, offering pricey fixed-price menus at the cost of US $104.25 per person (ARS 2,000, with a recent exchange rate drop since our mention in a prior post).

Tom ordered a local beer while I had a Malbec.  Wine lovers, see our notes below.

With an added tip based on La Cabrera’s purported good service, we could easily have spent US $300 (ARS 5,756) for each of the two holiday nights, especially with added cocktails since Tom wouldn’t have been interested in the included wine offerings. 

Based on our perception of the high cost of dining at La Cabrera, we didn’t give it much thought, although we passed it and its second restaurant located on the same block, many times during our walks through the busy district.

These side dishes are complimentary at La Cabrera. 

Yesterday, while checking the menu on their website hoping to discover their regular (non-holiday) prices (which weren’t posted online), I stumbled across this ad below:

The La Cabrera ad states, in Spanish in small print above the word “Happy,”  that happy hour is daily between 6:30 and 8:00 pm. Getting there by 6:15 pm is a must, or one may not get in for this excellent benefit.

Before dinner, we decided to find a local pharmacy to purchase some over-the-counter items for the upcoming Antarctica cruise, also buying enough for the first few months in Africa. We were impressed with the “caged” pharmacist’s ability to find everything on our list in the tiny space.

Roasted garlic in the finest of olive oil.

As it turned out, the Farmacia, which closes at 8:00 pm, was within a block or two of the restaurant, and we decided to head there first before walking to the restaurant.

When we arrived at La Cabrera at 6:15, we discovered a queue of a dozen people waiting outside to take advantage of the “happy hour” pricing as well. We found our spot in line and waited along with the others as several more diners arrived during the waiting period. By 6:40 pm, they started letting us “bargain hunters” enter the restaurant to be seated in a relatively tight space quickly.

A woman sitting alone next to us ordered this colossal steak and devoured the entire thing.

No more than five minutes after we were seated, they started turning people away. Most locals take a two-hour siesta between 2:00 and 4:00 pm, and they usually don’t dine until 9:00 or 10:00 pm or later, a little too late for us. Such early seating is unusual in Buenos Aires.

As early birds awakening by 6:00 am at the latest each day, we’re usually sound asleep by midnight. Going to bed on a full stomach is something we aren’t interested in doing, nor do we like to wait that late to dine, usually our only meal of the day. The “happy hour” concept works exceptionally well for us. 

This was my entree, a Caesar salad with grilled chicken (no croutons) to which I requested avocado. They added one and a half small avos, and to my surprise, I consumed the entire dish. They also included a lemon mayonnaise dressing (not bottled) on the side.

As we’ve walked the restaurant-lined streets of the Palermo Soho district over this past six days, we’ve noted dozens of restaurants where we’ll never be able to dine when they don’t open until 9:00 or 10:00 pm.  However, we’ve been able to find enough restaurants to suits our needs that open by 6:00 or 7:00 pm.

After last night’s spectacular experience, not only regarding the excellent food and service but also the highly cultural event, we certainly look forward to returning to La Cabrera several more times during the “happy hour” period. As a footnote, this restaurant is certainly worth visiting in the later hours at a total price for those who prefer to dine later in the evening when the pace may be more relaxed.

To reach my required 60 grams of protein each day, I added this egg and red pepper dish, cooked to perfection. This alone would have been a big enough meal for me with its four eggs. Good grief. I ate the whole thing as we took our time and dined at a leisurely pace.

We’d heard prices are high in Buenos Aires, and in most cases, they are. As a result, we budgeted US $100 (ARS 1,886) per day for meals while staying in a hotel for over 30 nights.

Last night’s meal, including wine, beer, and a generous tip, totaled US $46.23 (ARS 871.70) after the 40% discount. Wow! Subsequently, we’re averaging only US $34 (ARS 641) per day, keeping in mind that we only eat dinner out. This amount includes the food we’d purchased at the mini-mart for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when we weren’t willing to spend the above-mentioned high prices for the fixed-priced menus on those two holiday nights.

Tom ordered the barbecue ribs, which was the equivalent of an entire slab with these three sauces. He ate all the juicy, tender meat and left the sauces. He’s not a “sauce” kind of guy, although he can be pretty saucy at times!.

Tom eats a light breakfast of coffee, hard-boiled eggs, ham, and cheese (pastries, fruit, and juice are available for others) in the excellent Prodeo Hotel, which is included in our nightly rate.

The food at La Cabrera was over-the-top fresh, hot, delicious, and beautifully presented on sizzling platters.  Both of us couldn’t have enjoyed the experience more and look forward to a repeat performance soon. Next time, I won’t order so much food since I’m still stuffed this morning.

This wasn’t a full-sized bottle of Malbec but contained two large glasses. I had one glass, and the waiter provided the cork to take the balance back to the hotel with us! See the notes below on Argentinian Malbec as compared to French.
“Learn the Difference: Argentinian Malbec vs. French Malbec (from this site)

Blog » Wine Tips & Tricks » Learn the Difference: Argentinian Malbec vs. French Malbec

France is the origin of Malbec, but Argentina is now home to nearly 70% of the Malbec vineyards of the world. Thus, your very first taste of Malbec could have been from Mendoza, Argentina. There is a dramatic difference in taste between the two regions, and this is because Malbec really shows how terroir affects the wine.

An instant definition of ‘terroir.’

Terroir encompasses all the regional factors that define the taste of a wine grape, including sun, soil, the slant of a hillside, proximity to a body of water, climate, weather, and altitude. Terroir happens before a winemaker even touches the grapes. Any winemaker worth their salt will tell you: great wine is made in the vineyard, not in the cellar. Read more about Terroir.”

After the New Year holiday ends, we’ll begin sightseeing. We won’t do another comprehensive post on this particular restaurant when we return during our remaining 25 nights in Buenos Aires. However, we will share some details of other restaurants we’ll visit along the way.

We’re looking forward to sharing those details with all of YOU.

After we finished our meal, the waiter dropped off this “lollipop tree,” encouraging Tom to take some with him. He did.

Have a delicious day, dear friends!

Photo from one year ago today, December 29, 2016:

The previous day while on a walk in Penguin, Tasmania, we spotted this White Faced Heron. For more photos, please click here.