Tour de Carne

I just returned from three weeks in Argentina and Chile with friends Scott and Janise. The core of the trip was a 9 day ski trip organized by PowderQuest Ski South America, taking us through 3 resorts in the Argentinian and Chilean Andes. We tacked on a week in Buenos Aires beforehand, a couple days in Santiago afterwards and a final two days in Buenos Aires at the end. The trip was fantastic. Here’s a pic of me (or someone wearing my ski gear) in Bariloche:

This picture is of the smoking volcano we skied in Pucon, Chile:

At night, the top of the volcano glows a nice orange. I think that picture was taken the same day as the TechCrunch party. But enough of the usual pics.
Many people take pictures of themselves while on vacation. How boring. Based on a suggestion from my friend Cathy, who dubbed it the ‘Tour de Carne,’ I did something different for this trip. Argentina is known for its excellent beef, and as a carnivore, this was one of the things I was looking forward to the most. So instead, I documented some of the amazing steaks I had. Below is a selection of some of the ‘steaks I’ve loved’. To carnivores, Argentina is, to quote the great American philosopher-poet Beavis, ‘The Promised Land’. Heh heh.
Here’s our first meal in Buenos Aires, lunch at El Mirasol. Two rib-eyes, if I remember correctly. I didn’t eat dinner that night:

For our first dinner, at Juana M, I ordered the Bife de Lomo, which is tenderloin. This restaurant had a large selection of sauces. The bearnaise was excellent. This turned out to be my favorite meal of the trip:

Moving on, we ate at La Baraca. They are known for meat so tender that they cut it with a spoon. It’s true, we were witness to the waiters cutting several large chunks of cow that way. We had an amazing chorizo and I had the lomo again, as seen here:

This is definitely a locals place. The first time we ate there, several tables broke out into song. And I thought I was the only person who felt the urge to sing in the presence of excellent cow!
Next up, at La Cabana, I had about 2 lbs of prime rib. The first thing that greets you when you enter La Cabana are two stuffed cows. With that kind of greeting, you know you’re in for a serious meal. Each steak comes with a slip of paper with a bar code on it. The paper details important dates in regard to your steak, and you can scan the bar code in a computer at the restaurant to get more history about your particular cow. Probably a case of too much information, but you have to give them credit for trying.

Another meal was at the restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel. I had the Veal Sambocco over polenta. This was one of the only meals I had where the steak wasn’t served unadorned.

We re-visited both the Juana M and La Baraca on our return to Buenos Aires. The second time at La Baraca, I ordered the wonderful pepper steak, as seen here:

Did I mention that the menus at La Baraca are covered in cow hair? I’ve never felt the urge to pet a menu before:

And thus ends the Tour de Carne. Who’s hungry? And again, if you’ve got the inclination, I definitely recommend you ski south America.

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Comments

  1. Wow, skiing a volcano at night seems like an amazing experience.
    I wonder if there are similar “beef quests” instead of a powder quest.

  2. We didn’t actually ski the volcano at night (I just edited the post to make that more clear). But you could see it glow from town (probably 15 miles away). Pretty amazing.

  3. Welcome back. I have enjoyed a Tour de Carne in Chicago but think that Argentina and Japan would complete the triumverate.

  4. Ahh! Another carnitarian that vacations with their stomach! South America’s one of the only continents (as well as Australia) that I have yet to visit.

  5. You can’t beat the Biffe de chorizo. 🙂
    Almost makes you want to jump.