Where to eat in San Telmo?
On the corner of Peru and Chile in the neighborhood of San Telmo, in Buenos Aires, is a restaurant named Gran Parilla del Plata. I’ve mentioned before that we are living in San Telmo, and this restaurant is right down the block from us. I can also tell you that it is worth going to.
TLDR: The steaks are delicious and enormous, and the price is reasonable – give it a try. AND please excuse the pictures, they aren’t very sharp!
Our meal started with the waiter bringing the standard, but really good rolls… white and wheat, and marinated beans. I am not exactly sure what type of beans (seemed like large Lima or Butter beans), but we had three servings, they were so good. I’m not kidding, I could get addicted. They are good enough that my wife wants to go back just for the beans!
Like many finer steak houses in Buenos Aires, when ordering, everything comes separately (a la carte), so if you order a steak, it is just a steak, no sides. We ordered the waffle fries along with a steak for each person (oh how I miss Chick-fil-A waffle fries). The steaks we ordered were:
One “Baby” Bife de Chorizo (New York Strip and yes, the size of a baby, but not the largest one)
One Ojo de Bife (Ribeye)
One Lomo (Filet Mignon)
Just one of these could have easily fed the three of us they were so big. For reference, the plates they are on are full size dinner plates. The smallest was 250 grams I believe (about 1/2 pound). The steaks came with 3 condiments: Chimichurri, Salsa Criolla, and…? Something else. Not sure what the third was and I didn’t try it because I didn’t need to 🙂
The Ribeye was fantastic… tender, juicy, and really delicious. Ditto for the Filet Mignon (my favorite). The New York Strip however, was a disappointment. The taste was just ok, and it was so tough that it wasn’t really edible. We ended up taking it home and “repurposing” it.
As far as price, each steak was between 200-260 pesos. At the current time that works out to $13-17 USD per steak. I don’t think you can get that price at a top steak restaurant in the USA or Europe!
Ambience? Old School Buenos Aires: white table cloths, and professional waiters. Actually, the waiters really are professional and do a very good job. They pay attention without hovering and are friendly.
After eating at Gran Parilla del Plata, and knowing that the Obama family was coming to Argentina in March, I passed my recommendation on to the White House, and apparently, Michelle Obama and her lovely daughters took my advice on where to eat in San Telmo because they decided to eat there today 😉
What is interesting about that, is that they let other people eat there at the same time. I was surprised, especially when one of the restaurant personnel came up to the police line and asked if I wanted to come in and have lunch! Though, for security (and privacy) reasons I do know that the First Lady and her daughters were in a private room (the “Salon”) in the restaurant. So as the title says, if it’s good enough for the First Lady, it’s good enough for you! Just maybe don’t get the Bife de Chorizo…
Here’s a couple pics of the Secret Service dudes, and one of Michelle Obama (from very far away)
Oh yeah… I didn’t get a picture of them, but there were also several military types hanging out in the crowd. I didn’t notice at first until I saw another big guy wearing the same plaid shirt, but as soon as you noticed, you noticed all of them. I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to tangle with those fellows!