Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Finally a Real Visit

Because there have been plenty of people blowing through town, it seems like I’ve hosted many friends here, but in actuality, none of my visitors had stayed with me yet. Chris had the honor of being my first houseguest, and I was determined to show him some of the local culture, flavor, and above all some fun.

He was a trooper, joining me for roughly 30 miles of death marches throughout the week and even a Big Red practice! More than anything, we ate as much as possible. Here are some of the highlights.

Right off the bat, we got the local flavor started. Chris arrived, ate some of the cake Belu baked for him, and then we scooted over to the local empanada joint. From there, we took in a fútbol match, my first. You can read about that in great detail over at Road Games. A quick nap set him up for dinner at Guido’s (pronounced gi-dohs). I don’t believe I’ve written about the place yet, but it is easily my favorite restaurant here, and the place Belu and I went on our first date. Just know that if you come and visit, you will go. There are no menus at Guido’s. You sit down and they start bringing you food. And then they just keep on bringing you more and more. They have the best pasta I’ve tasted outside of Italy, and the only tiramisu I’ve ever enjoyed. Chris, a certified paisan, gave it a very big thumbs up. From there, we braved the rain and clubbed it out at Bahrain until about 6:30 in the morning. That was met with the requisite, “why are you leaving so early?” from the locals, but we’d had enough.
Did I say "cake"? I meant two cakes. Mmmmmmm.

It's way past these guys' bedtime

A jog around Palermo Lakes to sweat out the excess booze was just what we needed. A relaxed Sunday, including a dip in the pool followed. Did I mention before that I have a pool? I’m guessing not because I never, ever have time to go there. We closed the night down with sushi libre at Azul Profundo, easily the best sushi restaurant I’ve found in town. Especially surprising since it’s all you can eat. Monday night brought an attempt at Bomba del Tiempo with the frisbee crew. BdT is a percussion extravaganza which has become so popular that we, uhhh, couldn't get in. So it became poker and beer night at Mike-n-Kyla's instead. Which is probably even better!
No Bomba para vos

I should note briefly that we ate helado nearly every day. This was wholly at my insistence, but I don’t think Chris was hard to convince. Needless to say, the ice cream here is out of this world. More to come on this topic very soon. Choripán, on the other hand has been talked about here previously. I wasn’t about to let Chris come to town without risking his personal health at one of these parkside vendors. Chris tried to test out whether his fluency in Italian would pay any dividends during the week, and at times it definitely did. The Choripán, man, however was pretty much impossible for me. Then, when he found out we were from the states, he only wanted to talk about Las Vegas. I have no idea what the obsession is with that place here, but it’s ubiquitous. Anyway, the greasy mess hit the spot. After fending off the rattiest looking pigeons I’ve ever seen during our meal, we were on our way to more fun in the sun, hitting the Florida shopping district and eating more helado.
The Choriman

Tell me you're not drooling...

...cause I sure was...

...and Chris, too!

Having a guest also got me out to a Tango show for the first time in six and a half years. My previous experience was a work outing in 2002 at La Ventana. The only thing I really remember from that show was a segment with three old guys going crazy on accordions – perfectly in sync and popping with energy. We hit up Esquina Homero Manzi, a show/venue named after a renowned Tango lyricist. The food was great. The band, fine. The singers, good. The dancers, amazing. Three couples, each featuring a gorgeous female, dominated the night. And frankly, I think made Chris miss his girlfriend all the more.
Quite a show!

Unfortunately, a week didn't leave us enough time to explore the countryside, but we managed a day trip to Tigre. We took the Tren de la Costa, which allows you to stop and gawk at the gigantic homes and Rio de la Plata views along the way. Far from truly having our act together, we tried to hit the art museum, but it was closed for renovations. Still beautiful from the outside, though. Having a peaceful day away from the smog and bustle of the city was a welcome change. A leisurely lunch on a deck overlooking the river was well earned, and the relaxing day in the sun was just what we needed.
Chris poses in front of his future summer home

Not sure why I'm standing at attention. But it's good for the back I suppose.

Canoe in Spanish is canoa. But these are for rowing.

Maybe the best helado I've had yet. Though this is the "before" photo

It was a beautifully tranquil day

With only one night left, we decided to live it up a bit and eat dinner at the Hyatt Park Hotel. An old mansion originally owned by the Duhau family who apparently fled the country due to some sort of mafia involvement. What a palace they left behind. I really don't think I've ever been in a place this nice. The meal was nothing to write home about, but we stayed for hours, admiring the everything from the building, the fine collection of local artwork they house, and of course, more helado. I'll just let the photos do the talking...
Belu in her element

Taking pictures with the flash felt disruptive and still aren't doing the place justice anyway

They have a meat and cheese cabinet

Just one of many extravagant salas

Just one of many extravagant pieces of art

Extravagant helado

I'm not even going to joke that this is anybody's future home

In all, it was far too short a visit, though we felt like we got a month's worth of stuff done in one week. Well, at least a month's worth of meals! Now. Who's next???


Julia said...

wow, you guys actually ate there? I have snuck in there before, but never been a paying customer. Usually I just walk around for a few minutes with a visitor and feel how close the proximity of wealth is to me, then i hop on the bus and eat churipan, speaking of with, I also can't believe you found a churi place with "plates!!" maybe that's cause i'm too cheap to order the fries...

Kozy said...

I nomiate myself for "whose next". Sign me up -- I'm hungry already!!

The Coleman Family said...

OK, yeah, definitely drooling. Crap!

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