06/17/2009 § Leave a comment
“We must be the only two jerks in the world to fly to Argentina and look for brewpubs.”
I said that to Gemma. At least in my memories I said it, while searching travel guides and internets for info. I think I probably said several times that we were the only two jerks to do “X” when we traveled. Guess it was my schtick…..and her’s also. She was the Laurel to my Hardy.
I believe it was our second or third evening that we did manage to make it out to Cossab. Cossab is situated in the West. It was on Carlos Calvo, which happened to be the same street as our B&B. We were initially excited about this, thinking we could maybe walk, and then realized it was about five miles to the West.
Gemma and I have no beef with walking five miles. We do it in our native land of Chicago and we even did it while we were there. But walking in the evening with a belly and head full of frothy South American beer was not a good idea…..so we took a cab.
Since nothing opens until 8 in Buenos Aires we waited outside for Peter to show up. The place was open but just, and we didn’t want to be the first jerks in the place. Especially because conversation would have been, ahem, strained to say the least. And I would have probably said something stupid like, “Quiero cerveza un chopp….” which is totally fine, but then since I would have wanted to say something else to showcase my stellar spanish skills I would have said “btw, estoy el diablo blanco.” And I would have thrown in the webspeak too. It was good Gemma was there to keep me in line.
Peter showed up about four minutes later and we went in. It was a dark pub. Beer cans and coasters covered the walls. We felt right at home. We took a seat by the window and waited for Paola and Arturo. Pao had been buying a space heater for the winter and Arturo had been sleeping, I think.
Our friends arrived shortly after and we sampled their house beers, most of which, sadly, were unavailable. The blonde was good. The porter was good. I think those are the only ones that made an impression. The rest were drinkable but nothing exceptional. We ordered food.
They love pizza down in Buenos Aires but most of it is a strange sort of Frankenstien version of what we think of as pizza. Strange white cheese and whole green olives….sometimes raw onions thrown on top, &tc. We drank Stella and Quilmes and even some Guiness I believe. Arturo and I became better friends while chainsmoking all evening outside the front. We left at about 3 or 330am.
Smoking is technically banned in Buenos Aires bars but it is a loose sort of ban. Some bars just don’t care. Some are strict about the policy. Some specific rooms in certain bars are smoking rooms. Some upstairs areas are smoking if the place is big enough. Generally we just took a quick look around to see if others were smoking and if not we went outside.
The other brewpub we went to, Antares, was in Palermo. Palermo is a very nice area. It is filled with shops and fancy restaurants and lovely streets and beautiful homes and hotels. Antares is among the fancy places.
Gemma and I had wandered around Palermo all afternoon looking for a restaurant we had read about. We found it. It was closed and lots of people were inside cleaning intensely. Our hunger pulled us away too quick to discover what what had caused them to close for lunch. We wandered a bit. We were thrown. When our plans fail we often starve. Not due to lack of restaurants but due to indecision. Restaurants were everywhere we just had a hard time deciding. We found a traditional parrilla place that ended up being the best meat I had while there. Not the best meal. The best meat. I intend to write about our food on another post.
After our Palermo shopping adventures, in which niether Gemma or I made a single purchase (again the indecision thing….it amazes me we got to South America!), we stopped at a bar. I got made fun of for ordering a “disco drink,” which I took to mean a girls drink.
It was tasty though, so whatever. And full of bourbon…which is why I got it. And honestly, you can only drink so much Quilmes.
Then we texted Arturo and headed to Antares. It was getting chilly but I wanted to sit outside to smoke. I got readdicted while there. Hard not to when the packs are 5 pesos; roughly $1.80.
Gemma and I sampled their two dark beers before Arturo showed up. When he arrived we got the flight. It was all good and we were, I think, all very impressed. The bar, which is one of five or six scattered about Argentina, was lovely. The decor and clientelle definetely reflected the neighborhood in which it was placed.
When we all got too cold we went in and had another pint. Draft beer is called “chopp” there. It was just the three of us and Arturo told us about his mother country Columbia. We would have loved to stay there all evening but it was Tuesday and we had a date with a dive bar and a traditional tango singer later. We met up with Pao and Peter enjoyed more Quilmes at our next bar which was not a brewpub but which merits it’s own post in the near future..