Finding My Dream In Puerto Madero (by Carmen)
Nathan and I were walking along the broad sidewalk along Avenida Carlos M. Noel in the Puerto Madero neighborhood. This route is lined with numerous carritos (carts) all selling the same thing: grilled meat. What else could you expect in Argentina?? We noticed that one in particular, Parrilla Mi Sueño (My Dream Grill), had the most people. Always a good sign!
We approached the bright yellow carrito and ordered a lomito (steak tenderloin sandwich) since Argentinian beef is rather legendary. The old man running the cart was awesome. He spoke to us in slow, clear Spanish which was a nice change from the rapid fire speech of most porteños (Buenos Aires residents). Not only that, when he saw us take a picture of his cart he insisted that both Nathan and I take turns going inside his cart and pretending to be grill masters. There was no tip jar or anything; he was just having fun with us. I like that.
After our steak was grilled up we loaded it with the array of sauces and veggie toppings set up on a long table on the side of the parrilla. We took our first bite – the roll was nice and crunchy, the thin cut steak was tender, and the toppings brought it all together. Delicious!
The carritos on Avenida Carlos M. Noel add character to an otherwise ritzy and expensive neighborhood. Puerto Madero used to be the industrial port in the late 1800s but only 10 years after it was built it was abandoned for a bigger and better port upstream. It lay empty for decades until a regeneration effort in the 1990s brought new wealth. Corporations built high rises among the restored old buildings. There’s even a modern white Calatrava bridge that swings open for boats to pass through. Supposedly the form references the embrace of two tango dancers. Eh. I think it looks like his other bridges. It still makes for a good photo op : )
One more cool thing about Puerto Madero – the ecological reserve. The carritos actually look out onto this land, which separates the neighborhood from Río de la Plata. Nathan has gone running here a few times and I even joined him! That’s a feat because I’ve never liked running much. But I have to get ready for our Macchu Pichu trek. Not wanting to get stuck in the middle of the Andes is damn good motivation to get in shape.
Stay tuned – Nathan’s going to write about our awesome experience at a fútbol game this past weekend!