Andrea: One more morning of our hostel 'breakfast' (stale baguettes and delicious Dulce de Leche) and we were off to the next place to see another corner of this expansive city. We had seen a really busy restaurante/parilla the night before and decided the Argentines couldn't be wrong about meat choice so decided that was to be the location for our first meal out in the city.
After complaining about only having bread offered to us at breakfast, we ironically polished off an entire bread basket before ordering our food because the melted gorgonzola sauce that was served with it was delicious. We were surrounded by people eating pasta and giant meatballs, but we knew what we were there for--a gigantic cut of beef. We ordered what the waiter described as 'the best cut of the cow' and salad. It definitely lived up to the waiter's description because we got a thick fillet that just melted in our mouths. Definitely worth the wait.
After our decadent lunch we missioned to the next hostel with our house wine buzz. People were probably still waking up by the time we got out of lunch so that might count as morning drinking. Probably also not a good decision as this was to be our big night out in Buenos Aires and we needed to last til 6 am.
After a late dinner at the new hostel, we got ready to hit the town. We left at about 12:30 or 1:00--either way about the time we'd be coming home in London. We headed to Serano Plaza, in the yuppy Palermo neighborhood, where there were lots of bars and clubs. At 1:00 people were still finishing dinner (as you do?) and the bars were still pretty empty. We walked down the road a bit to find a place a bit more lively and found a place with live music. The woman at the front asked us where we were from (damn, we still look like tourists) and told us there was a Brazilian band playing--ironic considering we had just come from Brazil and we were trying to be true 'portenos' tonight and not 'cariocas' (which we had attempted to be and failed in Rio). We decided to give it a go and paid the cover and took a seat at the bar. Vern ordered a litre of beer and I had a caipirinha. The singer, who had just been on a break, came back and started moaning into the mic. Vern and I looked at each other, panicking about what they had just spent 15 pesos each to see. We had seen flyers in a phone booth that were better deals than this! But, then the band broke in and the moans turned into actual singing and we sat and enjoyed the music and the banter for awhile. Once the clock struck 2:30am I found myself already starting to fall asleep! There are clubs in BA that don't even open until 4:00 and here I was almost falling off the bar stool when there were still people waiting to order their desserts. We decided moving was a good idea so we left during the encore (to beat the crowd of 10 other people) and were off to the next place. We went to one place with no queue and no cover but it also incidentally seemed to have no patrons. We almost abandonned it until we went upstairs to go to the bathroom and stumbled upon a pumping rooftop club! We grabbed some drinks and settled in for some good people watching. Unfortunately, the seats were very comfortable and after about an hour and a half it was time to call it a night. Everyone had told us we needed to go to this one club at the end of the night to watch the sun rise, but it was clear that 4:30 was my limit. But at least we didn't see anyone eating on our way home.
The next day we slept until about 11:00 and then headed down to San Telmo for the famous antique market. We weren't really looking to buy any rusty keys or chandaliers, but had heard there were free tango shows there so we thought we would take a look. After following the crowds through the massive street market, we found a tiny 3 square foot stage with a couple dancing the seductive dance. We had seen some outdoor tango shows in La Boca featuring some very young, sexy dancers who wowed the crowds and made some old ladies break a sweat. The tango in San Telmo was slightly different. Although the dance was the same in theory, it was those sweating old ladies actually dancing it this time which, I must say, took a bit of the seductiveness out of it. This was a couple of dancers old enough to be our grandparents with a dress cut up to God knows where groping each other all over the place and in broad daylight! At this point the antiques on the tables were looking better than those on the stage so we moved on quite quickly. After meandering through the endless supply of broaches, mate jugs and pocket knives (yes, all the guys selling weapons here wear head to toe camo too), we broke free of the crowds to find a small parilla for a quick lunch. This place had a queue out the door so we figured it was a winner. We each ordered a 'choripan'--chorizo sausage on a roll. And added Chimichurri sauce--chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, vinegar and red pepper flakes. I think the translation for the sauce must be 'heaven in a jar' or something along those lines. We sat there and read the wall full of notes from around the world saying how they would die for the 'choripan' and how it was the best place to eat in Argentina and also a card from some girl's first communion which we found a bit weird, but still nice.
We made our way back to Palermo to walk around the Botanical Gardens and picked up an ice cream on the way which I had been craving the whole trip! We had to get some Dulce de Leche flavoured ice cream (because having it on bread every morning clearly wasn't enough). We walked the rest of the way very proud of our three scoops of goodness.