Eating Argentina: The Unexpected Magic of a Roadside Parrilla

Well, hello! What's this?

Some awful days have the most amazing ways of turning themselves around. Take last Monday. I was stranded in Buenos Aires due to that nuisance of a Chilean volcano ushering an ash cloud east. No flights were to be had out of Buenos Aires so my long planned Mendoza trip was on hold and I was at a loose end. What to do?

I took a random decision to hit Buenos Aires on a bicycle and see what the city might hold. It was a wonderful day, made extra special by my phenomenally bad sense of direction leading me to a motorway on my bicycle.

I know.

(But don’t worry it has a great ending)

Bicycles aren’t allowed on the motorway, as I quickly found out, and so I got off and walked only a short distance before I spied some red chairs and a food truck. Well, what could it be?

Next to a crazy motorway where trucks whizzed and dirt whirled was the most amazing roadside parrilla (Argentinian BBQ), run by a young guy and girl and frequented by truckers.

They thought my arrival curious and hilarious, so promptly handed me the most terrific sandwich with a slice of meat cut from some beef ribs and some super spicy chilli sauce (most unusual in Argentina, they don’t like spice).

My pigeon Spanish wasn’t much use but enthusiasm and hand signals powered me through, and that terrific sandwich, the fantastic two who run the parrilla and those truckers made my holiday.

I loved it so much and found it so magical, in an attempt to share it, I turned it into a cartoon for you (from my photographs).

Niamh

I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

13 Comments Write a comment

  1. What a fabulous find. I’m convinced some of the best food on tbe world is at tbe unexpected places, not the Michelin starred restaurants.

    On a family trip in SW France a couple of years ago we got lost walking in the hills and by the time we got back to the village we were almost eating the children (grumpy teenagers). The only place to have lunch was a dark and sparcely furnished restaurant, four or five tables in all, no lighting inside and no menu. I don’t think it had been decorated for 50 years, it wasn’t very appealing and I was a bit apprehensive because it looked grim (but clean) but we were desperate.

    We got through two baskets of bread before the food arrived but it was incredible. I csn still remember everything we ate – goats cheese croute and salad with a walnut dressing then a chicken fricassee followed by ice cream. All home made, dimple but so good, the gran and mum cooked, teenage son served. It cost 6 euros each including a glass of house wine and was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten, ever, anywhere.

    Your Argentina trip sounds fabulous, thanks for sharing, looking forward to reading more!

    Reply

    • What a great story! Thanks for sharing :) You are absolutely right. I love fine dining but the real gems are every day things as far as I am concerned.

      Reply

  2. Nuts! I’m guessing you must have a gourmet guardian angel because only you would randomly find this. No wonder they thought you needed sustenance Glad to see you having fun in spite of the ash

    Reply

    • Hi Kristin! Argentina has been generally but I loved this. It didn’t stop there either but for the sake of a short post I stopped :)

      Reply

  3. Hi Niahm,
    I’ve been enjoying the posts from your travels! Just a quick question – how did you cartoonize your pics? – my little boy would love me to do that with a photograph of him. Looking forward to your next post.
    Pascale

    Reply

  4. I love the photos! I want to hear about the bus ride…..14 hours long?
    When I met my hubby, 5 million years ago, we used to eat at a roadside traveling shack that we nicknamed the ‘Roach-Coach’……bad name I know. No roaches in sight but gawd they had the best best best street food you could ever get in …….Kentucky.

    Reply

    • OH! I would love to eat at a Kentucky road side shack. Bet it’s amazing. The bus was ok but not as pleasant as everyone hgad me believe. Just can’t sleep when on the move like that so it knocked me out the whole day after. They played BINGO on the bus too.

      Reply

  5. Hello there,the best food certainly can be found when not looking, just wandering around, loving the exploits in BA !
    Kat

    Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: