February Fading

2013.Mar.02 Saturday · 9 comments

in Food & Recipes, Life, Restaurants

It’s time for that monthly extravaganza of photos that didn’t find a home in a post over the last weeks. Only not much of an extravaganza this month as there are only four photos outstanding – not counting a few I took of buildings wistfully thinking it might be nice to move into a house as opposed to an apartment. Something to continue to think about over time.

Casa S had a great, full month with 147 guests over 16 dinners, 3 of which were private ones. People from 19 countries, including, I think, our first guests ever from Bulgaria and Kenya! Allergies and dietary requests were relatively light, but are confirming my suspicions that food allergies are almost a uniquely American phenomenon – I’ve been tracking it for months now and it’s pretty typical, like this last month – 20 requests, 18 of them from Americans, and the only others were someone from Turkey who asked for no pork for religious reasons, and the gentleman from Kenya who didn’t eat fish (which wasn’t an allergy, just a preference).

Futu Sushi

Let’s lead off with the bad. Here’s my comment about our delivery from Futu Sushi on BA Delivery: “Not recommendable. Late delivery by half an hour, the sushi was delivered at outside temperatures, not remotely cold. The shrimp in particular didn’t taste fresh and was even dried out in places, the fish was barely okay at best. The rolls and nigiri were so loosely put together they fell apart when trying to pick them up. We tried a few pieces and tossed the rest.” Enough said, no?


It amazes me that I’ve never reviewed Nemo, Cabello 3672 in Palermo chico as I’ve been numerous times and it’s actually a favorite spot to drop in for a good seafood lunch. I will post a full review of it soon, but suffice it to say for the moment that it’s kind of the place to go for simple, properly grilled fish and shellfish, tasty garnishes – we usually get the vegetable brochettes or the vegetable stir-fry, and while a bit pricey, it’s well worth it for the quality.


Chanfaina is a stew of Spanish origin that’s taken root in Peruvian culture (as well as several other south and central American cuisines). It’s a relative to such things as tripe stew, making use of various cuts of offal. From the north of Peru it tends to contain beef lung and potatoes as the primary ingredients and is often served over spaghetti. A friend of Henry’s runs an occasional “casa de comida” from her house and simply offers up a plate of the day. We went for chanfaina day recently and it was easily the best version of this stew I’ve tasted (and yes, I’ve tried more than one). We both liked that she serves it over mote, the large boiled corn kernels – different texture and flavor and far more interesting than the pasta version (did I really say that?). Henry had two plates of it. I”m going to see if she’ll let me come over, or come over here, and let me do a step-by-step of how to make this dish, it was fantastic.

Guest gifts

Roughly once a week someone who’s headed this way from one or another parts of the world asks me if there’s anything I’d like them to bring – most often just simply an offer to pick up whatever I might want and I reimburse them on delivery – generally just discounting off the price of dinner here. Sometimes I say yes, most often I don’t as there just aren’t that many things I feel an urgent need for. Sometimes though, the offer is a gift, to bring something of local culture – a gesture much appreciated, and my response is generally a thank you, not necessary, but if you want to… perhaps a local condiment or something unique to wherever they’re from. So the last month or so brought in three such deliveries and I’m exceedingly grateful to the folk who carted things around the world and gifted them to us.

Someone from my hometown of Ann Arbor offered to bring a bottle of Vernor’s Ginger Ale (and brought two). Now, if you’ve never tried Vernor’s you have no clue what real ginger ale can be. It’s oak-aged, tangy, spicy, pretty solidly amazing stuff, and it comes from Detroit. It’s the oldest “surviving” ginger ale in the country, dating back to its introduction in 1866. The only problem with the stuff, beyond how difficult it is to get away from the Detroit area is that you’ll never be able to drink another ginger ale without wrinkling up your nose in distaste.

Two chefs from London asked and I suggested that, being one of the few Americans on the planet who actually likes Marmite, that if they wouldn’t mind bringing a small tin of the stuff as a treat, I’d be appreciative. They showed up with a jar of Marmite XO, a premium version that I’d never tried, a jar of wine jelly with gold flakes, and a Marmite coffee mug! I have been enjoying the XO a little spoonful at a time on toast in the mornings.

And, a couple of women from Dallas showed up with a trio of sauces – two barbecue and one hot sauce – personal favorites of theirs from different local communities. I haven’t sampled them yet, but will be soon.

And that rounds out February. Next up a review of what may be the quirkiest, yet quite good, restaurants I’ve experienced in Buenos Aires. No more clues than that….


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Karin Ross March 3, 2013 at 09:30

Vernors is amazing. Someone needs to open an international soda shop in BA for you.

dan March 3, 2013 at 09:38

A shop stocking international anything would be nice here… 😉

SilBsAs March 8, 2013 at 10:44

Lucky you with all those treats! I always wondered how marmite tastes like…have no idea!
I’m always tempted to ask for local products to friends who travel but there’s no problem te enter “alimentos” then in the airport?

dan March 8, 2013 at 11:43

Generally things that are in sealed jars or packages are fine. You can’t bring in something like loose fruits and vegetables or a sausage (unless you can get them to vacuum pack it wherever you buy it), but other than that, in amounts for obvious personal use or gifts, it’s never an issue.

Doug December 30, 2015 at 11:23

Hi Dan, thanks for your comprehensive blog! My wife and I have used it to cross reference some of our restaurant choices, and we had a wonderful meal at Pizarras.

I’m sorry to say Nemo fell a little short. The food was good, but I ordered off the promotional menu, and there was clearly a reluctance on the restaurant’s part to really embrace the terms of that offer. In theory the menu should have included wine and a small desert. However in reality when my wife and I got water and wine, we were charged for wine, while the water was included as the complement, and for desert we were served and charged for a menu helado and topping, as opposed to a complementary helado from the promotional menu, which we learned after was smaller and did not have a topping. We were not, fwiw, served the actual complementary helado in addition. All of this took quite a bit of time, and by the end we were upset with the restaurant, and with each other (my wife wanted to argue the point further with them while I just wanted to leave), and we left in a terrible state of mutual annoyance and disappointment. So not a good dining experience.

So look, I don’t want to overly trash this place – the food was basically good, and if we were native Spanish speakers and had been very very clear from the get go that we wanted the promotional menu and nothing extra, it would have been ok. But that should have been clear to the restaurant. If you offer a promotional menu, honor it. If you don’t want to honor it, don’t offer it. The stuff with the desert and water was small $ (added about 100 peso to the bill), but rubbed us both the wrong way.

dan December 30, 2015 at 11:25

Hey, it’s your right to trash it if you had a bad experience. We’ve never ordered the promotional menu, in fact, I don’t recall ever seeing one, but it’s been a year or so since we’ve been in. And, perhaps time for a revisit and a review.

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