“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
Buenos Aires – Forget that it looks like you’ve just stepped onto the set of an Austin Powers movie. Forget that you are surrounded by strip clubs and telos. Just relax and let the folks at Cilantro, Anchorena 1122, 4966-2941, in Recoleta, serve you up some fun and really quite good pan-Asian cooking. Truly, upon setting foot in this bizarrely decorated space on a block devoid of any charm, I didn’t expect we’d have a good meal. Thank goodness for the surprise factor.
Try to ignore the red light. Cameras don’t take good photos in red light, something which this space has in abundance. I suppose it’s good for your night vision. So I had to work these photos more than a hooker at a bar and her “date”. We started off with a plate of a dozen plus mildly spicy chicken wings. These aren’t buffalo wings, but they’re meaty and tasty, and I’d have been happy with just a platter of them and a beer. It did occur to me that I was fairly certain that the menu said 8 pieces and we had somewhere around fourteen – that might have been my first clue that our waiter was flirting. That, or the fact that he was just pretty shameless about it.
Next clue might have been his murmurred, “There’ll be a delay until your main course, so I thought I’d bring you a sushi roll.” Salmon, cream cheese, avocado, not my favorite combo for sushi, but the roll was well made and the wasabi was nicely pungent.
Perhaps the two rounds of on-the-house cocktails, on top of the one that I’d ordered. Or maybe that I ordered up the glazed pork ribs, Indian style, and he delivered two huge, meaty pork chops (I really did kind of want to try the ribs – or maybe it’s just a misprint…), perched atop a mound of spiced potatoes and cabbage.
Or, that he just sort of plopped the plate of Chiang Mai Noodles in front of Barbara, and, hmm, didn’t really pay much attention to her during the evening.
Or when he kept standing behind me to look over my shoulder as I took photos.
Or chatting about his life… okay, I did ask a few questions, I mean, he was cute, and I can at least look at the menu even if I can’t order from it….
Or even the round of digestif tea packed with lemon, ginger and mint at the end of the meal.
Or the discount he threw in on top of all that.
But no, it didn’t really occur to me that he could be flirting… right?
Good thing that the food was good, gives me a valid reason for going back.