Best of: Hamburgers, Buffalo Wings, Tacos

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A weird mashup, I know – but every now and again I get these urges to go on a spree of sampling one particular type of food and seeing who does it best – originally this page was “Expat Snacks that we miss”. I try to put together a small group of people, or at least go with one other person and rotate who that is at different places, to come up with some viewpoints besides my own. Some of these, when originally posted, have been met with quite a bit of contention – often by devotees of one spot or another. So be it – these are my/our assessments from best to worst, and, of course, subject to change if we re-sample somewhere and find that it’s improved or deterioriated. If you have a suggestion for a category, let me know – right now it’s hamburgers, tacos, and buffalo wings. The question is, how to rate these… stars, moons, hearts, clovers…?

Hamburgers

“5 Napkins” – my absolute favorites, you just can’t go wrong at these spots
180 Burger, Suipacha 749, Microcentro – great burger, great fries, casual hangout atmosphere
The Pony Line, Posadas 1086 (Four Seasons Hotel), Recoleta – great burger, great fries, sophisticated lounge atmosphere
Burger Mood, Viamonte 359, Centro – great burger, great fries, casual, fun atmosphere
Illegal Burger, Talcahuano 959, Tribunales – great burger, great onion rings, casual
Mi Barrio Hamburgeseria, Arenales 2609, Recoleta – great burger, excellent fries, casual
Tierra de Nadie, Avellaneda 588, Caballito – great burger, amazing fries, fun atmosphere – and the nod for the only “smashed patty” style burger I think I’ve ever loved, which says a lot
Nanina Bakery, Gorriti 4738, Palermo – great burgers, excellent sides (though skimpy portions), modern coffee shop atmosphere

“4 Napkins” – excellent choices, just not by top of the heap ones
Sweet Pepper, Los Mimbres 1220, Tigre – really good burger, good fries though not my style, food truck, casual, outdoor cafe
La Cresta, Bülnes 829, Palermo – really good burger, great combos, pretty much takeout only
El Puesto de Fabio, Roque Saenz Peña 1159, San Isidro – really good burger though overcooked, great fries, food truck, outdoor, fun atmosphere
Sugar Bar, Costa Rica 4619, Palermo – great burger, okay fries, good service, sports bar atmosphere
Perez H., Defensa 435, Monserrat – really good burger though consistently overcooked, good fries (though over-salted), casual, almost take-out setting
Burger Joint, J.L. Borges 1766, Palermo – really good burger though overcooked, unknown fries, casual setting

“3 Napkins” – good choices, but there are obviously better
Bar MAD, Libertador 6002, Belgrano – really good burger, albeit rather small and quite expensive, variable quality onion rings, causal, diner style cum lounge style spot
Tucson, Salguero 2741, Palermo (and several other spots) – really good burger, great fries, nice, casual atmosphere (more or less an Outback Steakhouse knock-off; also tried the new Buenos Aires Design Center location and was less impressed – still good, but not as good as the Palermo spot)
Kansas, Libertador 4625, Palermo – really good burger, okay fries, nice atmosphere for a large restaurant (Houston’s chain knockoff)
Hard Rock Cafe, Buenos Aires Design Center, Pueyrredon 2501, Recoleta – great burger (if that was the only factor, this would likely be near the top), mediocre fries and just okay onion rings, ear-splittingly noisy chain restaurant – weekday lunches tend to be less loud and softer rock music, and fewer people
Chochán, Piedras 672, San Telmo – good chicken burger, but really small and overpriced (regular burger to be tried at some point)
Wayback Burgers, Armenia 1231, Palermo – good burger, awful onion rings, decent milkshakes, old-time soda fountain atmosphere
BeFrika, Juní and French, Recoleta – good burger, lots of interesting combo choices, very good fries, casual coffee shop atmosphere
El Banco Rojo, Bolivar 914, San Telmo – good chicken burger if a bit salty, odd fries, great condiments (regular burger to be tried at some point)
Buller Pub & Brewery, R.M. Ortíz 1827, Village Recoleta – good burger, great toppings, good onion rings, casual pub atmosphere
The Embers, Libertador 14638, Acassuso – good burger and excellent onion rings, the option for a chili burger is a big plus, old-fashioned soda fountain atmosphere
Temple Bar, Las Heras 1822, Recoleta – good burger, great crushed potatoes, nice beer selection
Janio, Malabia 1805, Palermo – good burger, great toppings, great fries, laid-back, neighborhood atmosphere
Soul Cafe, Baez 246, Las Cañitas – good burger, decent fries, weird ambiance
Delicious Cafe, Laprida 2015, Recoleta – good burger, no bun, good toppings, casual coffee shop atmosphere
Carlitos LNG, Guido 1962, Recoleta – good burger, okay onion rings, neighborhood casual spot
Home, Honduras 5860, Palermo – good, “interesting” burger, great fries, nice casual ambiance

“2 Napkins” – Seriously, just order something else or go somewhere else
Dean & Denny’s, Malabia 1591, Palermo – okay burger, soggy fries, weird, high tech atmosphere
Novecento, Baéz 199, Las Cañitas – overseasoned, dry burger, greasy fries, nice atmosphere
Pit Deli, Soldado de la Independencia, Las Cañitas – okay burger, decent oven fries, poor service
Shoeless Joe’s “Remember El Alamo” (downstairs bar), Uruguay 1175, Recoleta – good burger, lousy fries, skeevy atmosphere
Brand’s, Gurruchaga 1776, Palermo – okay burger, iffy fries, coffeeshop atmosphere
Barbacoa, Abasto Shopping Mall food court – okay burger, okay fries

“1 Napkin” – Use the napkin to scribble down the address of somewhere that has an edible burger
La Biela, Quintana 596, Recoleta – skimpy, flavorless burger, good fries, coffeeshop atmosphere
T.G.I. Friday’s, Alto Palermo mall, Arenales 3360, Palermo and Village Recoleta mall, Uriburu & Vicente Lopez, Recoleta – lousy burger, lousy fries, kitschy atmosphere
Pepino, Libertador 14475, Acassuso – skimpy, uninteresting burger, cold, lousy fries, noisy, teeming, family hangout
Períca, corner of Libertador and Sanchez de Bustamante, Recoleta – skimpy, frozen burger, frozen fries, coffeeshop with a nice view

Tacos

“5 Tortillas” – my favorites, really, just go
Che Taco, Balcarce 873, San Telmo – excellent tacos, great hot sauces, fun atmosphere

“4 Tortillas” – you’re not going to go wrong at these spots
La Fabrica del Taco, Gorriti 5062, Palermo – generally good tacos though inconsistent, good service, funky, fun atmosphere. best thing are their housemade hot sauces

“3 Tortillas” – in a pinch, but you can do better
The Taco Box, Soler 5581 and Cerviño 3768, Palermo – good tacos though a bit oily, okay service, noisy bar
Xalapa, El Salvador 4800, Palermo – decent tacos with good filling, though the tortillas could be improved, okay service, cute spot

“2 Tortillas” – ho hum, what, you’re unable to travel?
Cielito Lindo, El Salvador 4999, Palermo – okay tacos, casual but fun service, fun atmosphere

“1 Tortilla” – no, just no
Mole Tacos Fonda Mexicana, Cabildo 1372, Belgrano – bland, uninteresting tacos, poor service
California Burrito Co, Lavalle 441, Centro and other locations – used to be recommended but gone downhill since the original owners sold the stores to a fast food chain operator who has cut every corner he can in quality and service
Lupita, Baéz 227, Las Cañitas – dripping in oil, poor quality meat, borderline inedible, decent service and an interesting room are the only redeeming factors

Hot/Buffalo Wings

“5 Finger Licks” – Seriously, five finger licks, you can’t do better
Casa Bar, Rodriguez Peña 1150, Recoleta – with their own homemade hot sauces and dressings, they’re classic style, pack plenty of heat, and the atmosphere is a really cool lounge and sports bar, easy pick as number one
Hard Rock Cafe, Buenos Aires Design Center – great classic Buffalo wings, you know the atmosphere

“4 Finger Licks” – Damn these are good
Sugar Bar, Costa Rica 4619, Palermo – good wings, good service, sports bar atmosphere

“3 Finger Licks” – Yawn. Meh. You wanted finger licking good, remember?
Cilantro, Anchorena 1122, Recoleta – Asian style, not particularly hot wings but good, Okay service, somewhere between bar and cafe atmosphere

“2 Finger Licks” – Come on, are you starving or something?
El Alamo, Uruguay 1175, Recoleta – tough call, classic Buffalo wings, though clearly frozen and reheated, really skeevy atmosphere, especially at night – and that kills it for me, but it’s up to you… (They used to be better, but have clearly gone wayyyy downhill.)

“1 Finger Lick” – The only reason to lick your finger here is before you raise it to hail a cab to elsewhere
NYC Bistrotheque, Nicaragua 6002, Palermo – bland, mediocre wings, hot sauce isn’t hot, yawn (but great sandwiches)
Portezuelo, Vicente López 2160, Village Recoleta – bland, uninteresting wings, but a great bar
King’s Town, Jufre 102, Villa Crespo – bland, poor quality wings, neighborhood hangout
T.G.I. Friday’s, Alto Palermo Mall and Puerto Madero – bland, overcooked, poor quality wings – but what would you expect here?
Hooters, Alicia Moreau de Justo 840, Puerto Madero – most disgusting excuse for hot wings ever put on a plate, I won’t even discuss the atmopshere

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