“Inala ayihambi, kuhamba indlala
Usually translated as: Plenty sits still, hunger is a wanderer.”
– Zulu proverb
A few short notes on worthy spots I’ve stopped at to grab a quick bite….
You might remember Arévalito
, Arévalo 1478, Palermo, from when it was called Providencia
and was located around the corner. Back then it was a large affair, with a dozen picnic tables that people shared, another couple of dozen small tables in another room for those who wanted separate tables, and a half dozen huge deck ovens firing on all cylinders and cranking out not just interesting vegetarian food, but a constant stream of loaves of bread for their restaurant supply bakery, Los 7 Panes. The bakery is now elsewhere, and the restaurant has been relocated to this quirky little hole in the wall space that seats around a dozen people total, plus the occasional outside table in nice weather.
The menu has likewise been reduced, though remains vegetarian and reasonably creative. Not quite as much as it used to be and no sign of Carmen nor Juan, presumably over at the bakery, and the staff who were there the day I popped in seemed only vaguely familiar with the history. But, at least the quality is still very good, and I was completely satisfied with this sandwich popeye
(pronounced here as “Po-pay-eh”), delicious fresh olive oil bread, thick cut and toasted, filled with spinach, tomatoes, caramelized onions and gooey, melted cheese. A great little spot to stop in – Arévalo is becoming quite the lineup of foodie spots – and very convenient to the studios of our local food channel, El Gourmet
, if one were, to say, be interviewing and auditioning for their own cooking show on next year’s schedule. Hypothetically speaking.
In a whole other part of town, San Telmo, El Banco Rojo
, move to Bolivar 866 in 2016, is serving up lamb döner kebabs, chicken shawarma (is there really any difference between a döner and a shawarma?) and salads out of a little storefront with just a few stools at a counter for dining. The owner, according to the young man showing off his company t-shirt here (love it!) is apparently from Kentucky.
Fairly ordinary commercial pita is made up for by generous shavings of charred, well seasoned lamb, lettuce, tomato, onion, red cabbage, a sort of tzatziki of yogurt and cucumber, hummus, and optional hot sauce (which isn’t all that hot, but at least has some kick). One of the better shawarmas, err, umm, döner kebabs, I’ve had in quite awhile.
For some time now I’ve been hearing about a bagel operation out in Villa DeVoto with a storefront. Haven’t been, don’t know where it is exactly. But, suddenly around two weeks ago this little counter opened up at Uruguay 879 just off the corner of Paraguay, called So Bagels
. Chatting with the counter guy and the woman back in the small prep kitchen, I gather they make their own bagels, muffins, brownies and cookies out in Villa DeVoto and bring them in daily to stock this lunch counter. [I’m later informed by others that the bagels are made by The Buenos Aires Bread Company – which seems at odds with what the counter-guy claimed, unless they’re branches of the same company.]
With just eight sandwiches to choose from, you pick your filling combo (each “named after a park in New York City” – I’m pretty sure “Lox” is not a park – neither, as far as I know, are Allen nor Bowery – but we’ll leave that aside), your type of bagel – plain, whole wheat, and a couple of different topped ones of varied seeds. They’ve also got Lavazza coffee ready to brew up. You can stand there and munch away on your bagel sandwich or, as the majority of folk do, take it away.
Going straight for the New York comparison, I went for the “Lox”. Whole wheat bagel – decent, not great – the kind of bagel you’d find at a diner in any part of Manhattan, better toasted than not, could use a little more “chew”. Decent schmear of cream cheese, good smoked salmon (not lox, not that anyone here seems to know the difference), and even a decent number of slices of it. Some arugula and capers. Could have used a slice or red onion, which I added at home after trying it without.
But it’s a start.