It's only been a few days but things are going beyond simply being "good" and it just keeps getting better and better. I checked into this little hostel here into one of their rooms with shared accomodations. But it ended up that there was only one girl who was staying there and she left the nite after I came. I ended up paying $13 a nite for this hostel that puts breakfast out all day long and got this big huge dormitory style room all to myself for the first few days. Also there was an added bonus of having an ice-cream shop across the street. I had a very funny incident when I went in there to order ice-cream and I ordered "coco" flavored ice-cream thinking that it was "cacao". When they handed me the ice-cream, I was wondering why it didn't look like chocolate until I remembered that "coco" in spanish means "coconut". So I found myself spooning mouthfuls of coconut ice-cream with dulce du leche into my mouth. Now that is what I call a delicious mistake!
Boedo at this point is what I would probably call "Buenos Aire's best kept secret". It is a bohemian barrio with historic buildings, restaurants, cafes, parks and so much more. The barrio has an authentic argentine feel and is almost completely unspoiled by tourism. I'm also finding that there are several advantages to choosing to live in a barrio that is off the beaten path. The prices for services and utilities are slightly less than when I had stayed in the city centre the last time. There is plenty of space and privacy without the noise that often accompanied living in the downtown area. Not only that, Boedo boasts it's own little mini strip full of shops, cafes, restaurants and museums. And when I do need a little bit of action, the city centre is a subway ride away.
The other day I went into the big city for the first time since I got here. I took a walk down Defensa. I was craving something meaty to eat but I wasn't in the mood for an Argentine style parilla. So I just kept walking and walking looking for ideas and inspiration. At one point I was tired out and couldn't walk anymore and I literally stopped and then turned around to see a restaurant called "Brasserie Petanque". It was a french brasserie fused with a latin american flair. I went in and the moment I sat down, it was love at first sight.
As soon as I was seated, someone put a small glass of white wine in front of me. I thought that it was as very welcoming gesture. Then I proceeded to look at the menu. The menu was in spanish consisted of classic french cuisine combined with latin american culture. I found it pretty amazing that Buenos Aires is so diverse that you could find "beef bourginon" in the middle of a city in South America.
I ended up tasting "steak tartar" for the first time ever in my life. It was kind of fun and cool to see a raw steak get brought to me with some dijon and an egg yolk on top of it and having the waiter mix the dijon and the egg into the raw meat. And it came with a side of papas fritas (french fries) just to remind me that I was experiencing a piece of paris with a latin america twist. And at latin american prices too........with a coke and 10% tip the whole thing came to a whopping $22 CDN!
It was really a neat experience to dine in and atmosphere that carries the formality and class of Europe but has the warmth and openness of the latin american spirit. Simply stated, there is nothing like it and you can be sure that it will be no time before I'll be blogging away about having a bite of Beef Bourginon in BA