The mostly American crowd waiting outside made me question the reviews I read before coming, but it was our last night together with G. and he really wanted to share our last meal at La Cabrera. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; I was just wondering where the locals were. It was a warm but cool night. Even when some people in the crowd got demanding–we witnessed someone hand a AR$20 bill–the maitre d’ kept her cool and distributed cold glasses of champagne and small bites of hot sausages to everyone waiting outside. We jumped off our seats when, an hour and a half later, she called the Dr.’s name. We were still seated before the $20-guy and his pouting girlfriend.
Fellow German tourists said it best when we talked about the food we’ve been eating in Argentina: There are two flavors in this country: dulce de leche and unsalted beef. Because the country is considered to have the best beef in the world, no seasoning is ever added to all the cuts you order. This is, of course, okay if the beef is not overcooked; but the problem in a country of parillas, or grills, is that the meat hangs and cooks by the fire for hours at a time, resulting in the driest and blandest meat I’ve also tasted in my life. When the meat comes out this way, I need all the salt I can get.
At La Cabrera, they’re smart enough to cater to the particular tourist who might like their meat medium-rare even if it’s not the traditional way of cooking in Argentina. We ordered a medium-rare cut of rib-eye steak and it came out, well, perfectly. We knew not to order two steaks for the three of us, but we did order the sausage to complete our meal. An array of gravy and sauces came with our order and our waiter was nice enough to let us know we wouldn’t be needing any more food.
The service is brisk because they are very busy, but our waiter was attentive enough to take group photos for the table behind us and entertain my request to get a copy of the pig diagram hanging on the wall. (His answer? No, it’s not for sale.)
Anyone who has researched places to eat in Buenos Aires has surely come across La Cabrera. It’s highly reputed and it is indeed the place where I got the perfect steak in Argentina–and that was after two weeks of eating a lot of beef.
La Cabrera is on Cabrera 5099 in the Palermo Viejo neighborhood. There is another one across the big street next to Casa Blanca. Look for the crowd waiting outside at both places.