Sunday, June 21, 2009

Walk, Eat, Drink, Walk, Eat, Drink, Walk...

You get the picture. I will cover yesterday as briefly as I can, but it may not be less than 5000 words. Anyway, first I must thank all those who sent good wishes for my special day yesterday. And to my family for the great voice mail I received, although singing isn´t one of their strong points.The day was all that I was hoping it would be and more.

We started the day with a Subte ride to Palermo and a visit to MALBA, the Museo de Arte Latinamericano Buenos Aires to view their modern art collection including some works by Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo. We had a lovely lunch at the museum cafe. I had a curry chicken sandwich on the flat bread that is similar to pita and seems to be so popular here. Frank had a Croque Madam, which was artfully presented with a round section of one half of the sandwich cut out to hold the fried egg.

From MALBA, we walked around Palermo, an upscale barrio north of the center, ending up with a visit to the Jardin Japones, a small but nice Japanese Gardens. Then it was on to the Jardin Botanica or Botanical Gardens. It was a nice break from a lot of walking, and we got to pet a lot of stray cats that are well cared for by a number of local women.

The highlight of the day was my birthday dinner at Cabana las Lilas in Puerto Madero. It is one of the top steakhouses, if not the top in BA. We had a wonderful experience from the moment we were seated at our table and a large plate of antipasti was delivered, along with an assortment of breads and dips/spreads. At our request, the host recommended a Malbec that was the best I have ever had. It was Riglos Gran Malbec 2006. Each of us ordered the filet mignon, and a mixed green salad. The steak had to be 10 oz or more, and was perfectly cooked medium rare. It is a very close second to the steak we had in Prague. We opted for no sauces, just the great flavor of the grill and coarse salt. It was perfect, beyond that I don´t know what to say. For dessert I had a Tarte Tatin, apple tart with vanilla ice cream. The tart and the ice cream both hit a high mark and rank as best ever in my book. Frank ordered a coffee express (espresso) which arrived with an assortment of petit fours. The meal ended with complementary limoncello and grappa, not just a glass, but a bottle of each, were place on the table for our enjoyment. What a nice way to end the evening. As usual, the service was exceptional. Oh, and have I mentioned that this meal came to a grand total of US$130... a steal, and amazing. After the 2 hour food extravaganza, it was time for a walk back to the hotel to call it a day.

I hate to mention the lowlight of the day, but mention it I must. On the return subway ride from Palermo were were ALMOST pick-pocketed. The sharp eyes of a local on the subway alerted us to the people gathering too close around us and started yelling at them. We quickly moved away, and were save from a loss of wallets. Neither of us felt comfortable from the time we got on the subway, but didn´t act on the threat until alerted by the good people on the subway. This is the only bad experience we had here, and is not unusual to BA, but can happen in any big city.

That´s all I´m saying!

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