Keeping it casual…
Burger Box is apparently a relatively new Burger stand in the courtyard at Distrito Arcos, the open air shopping mall at Santa Fé and Juan B. Justo. And, true to their name, your burger comes in a box. It’s a somewhat rickety box, it could definitely be made much sturdier, especially for carrying the weight of a burger. But then, the burger doesn’t weigh all that much. They claim it at 170 gm, or 6 oz, though a visual assessment might suggest that that includes he weight of the toppings and bun. The patty has the density and texture, and quite likely the flavor, of a superball, the provolone cheese is a weird, gloopy and lumpy texture, the egg, bacon, and cornichons (who puts cornichons on a burger???) aren’t much better. Actually, the cornichons are fine on their own, they probably came out of a jar. The onion rings are acceptably crunchy, taste vaguely of onion, but are all perfectly even, they’re either super intentional in their preparation, or they’re buying packages of frozen ones and just frying them up. Half of this went into the trash after two of us attempted to eat it.
El Desembarco (“the landing”), Castro Barros 785, Boedo – Now, that doesn’t look all that appetizing, does it? I mean, there’s “ugly delicious” and then there’s “just ugly”. This was a delivery order. There are some things about it that work, and some that don’t. The patty itself was more or less fine, nicely seasoned, and although a tad overcooked for my tastes, it was okay, and the brioche bun was great. The problem was in the toppings – a guacamole that seemed to be little more than a schmear of pureed and unseasoned avocado, and the chili. Now, I love a good chili burger. But this chili had two problems – one minor, one major. The first, it was basically just cooked black Beans, nothing more, but okay, I could go for black beans, albeit that’s not the kind of chili one normally thinks of to ladle over a burger. The second was that whoever made those black beans apparently mistook sugar for salt (I’m giving the place the benefit of the doubt and assuming it wasn’t intentional). The beans were so sugary sweet they may as well have been dessert. Unfortunately, it more or less made the whole thing inedible, and the burnt fries didn’t help. Another that headed for the trash bin and history.
I’ve been hearing about how good Choripanería in the Mercado San Telmo is for a while now. I love a good choripan (chorizo sausage sandwich), I don’t eat that many of them, mostly just for health reasons (he says after discussing two trashed burgers) – though it’s more the salt and preservatives used in making sausages than it is anything about the meat. I decided to go with their most basic, classic chori, the solapa, described as “a pork chorizo, chimichurri, and nothing more”. And, that it is. It’s also one of the best chorizos I’ve had here in BA. The chimichurri could have used a bit more umph, or maybe just more of it, but instead, it’s perfectly easy to spike up your sausage with the excellent hot sauce and “provencal” on the counter. The latter isn’t really provencal, which is a garlic and parsley mixture in oil, given that this has no garlic, and is instead a puree of parsley, basil, green onions, spinach, and more. Much more of a salsa verde, and an excellent one at that. It does come on the more or less tasteless mignon bread that’s ubiquitous here, but that seems to be just for this version – it looked like they had a couple of different kinds of bread, perhaps for the other menu choices – so I’m guessing that it’s because this is the “classic”. 135 pesos ($4.25) for a choripan is a little steep for something that’s usually street food at half that price, but hey, this is the Mercado San Telmo, it’s mostly tourists buying, and, it’s a lot better quality than you get at curbside.
And, a very casual 37th outing for the Roving Ravenous Horde. I don’t remember who sent me the suggestion for Chilaca, Carranza 1601, corner of Gorriti, in Palermo. All I have noted was that it was supposed to be really good tacos. I wonder if Disney knows that The Book of Life has been usurped here as the decor on one side. And Frida Kahlo on another. We had some trepidation – their website lists a mix of Mexican and Venezuelan fare, but also “sushi burritos”… which none of us seemed eager to try. Turns out, they’ve revamped and the menu is pretty straightforward Tex-Mex bar fare – nachos, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and burgers. At lunchtime they have a 160 peso menú ejecutivo that gives you a choice of any quesadilla, burrito, or burger (but not tacos), with either fries or corn chips (I can’t bring myself to call a pile of unadorned tortilla chips “nachos“, even if that’s what Argentines think nachos are), and a lemonade.
Although there were five of us, there was a touch of overlap. One order of tacos chilaca – with ground beef, beans, and guacamole – and a choice of either crunchy or soft tortillas (all wheat tortillas, no corn ones, 200 pesos with no accompaniment); two orders of burrito pibil – with a choice of beef, chicken, or pork, both of us went for pork, marinated in garlic and accompanied by rice, beans, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, and sour cream; and two different quesadillas, a pibil, with the same choice of meat sandwiched between tortillas with plenty of melted cheese, and a pastor, which didn’t have that classic tanginess of a good pastor, but wasn’t bad. All in all, not bad Tex-Mex bar fare – certainly a step above places like the local chain of Tex-Mex bars Taco Box, which is all over the place here, though I’d probably stick with La Fábrica del Taco, especially now that they have several locations. Biggest negative, neither of the two “hot sauces” were in any way “hot”.
Oh, and the no longer extant “sushi burritos”? They used to be fish, rice and beans, wrapped in swiss chard leaves, and then in a soft tortilla, essentially a cold fish burrito. No. Seriously. No. I’m guessing that’s why they’re not on the menu anymore.
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