Sunday, November 22, 2015

* Eating 52 Countries In 52 Weeks - Week 24 - ARGENTINA

What do you do on a gloomy overcast Sunday afternoon in Long Beach to cheer your day up? Of course you go to Argentina where love manifests itself in many forms - love of music, love of dance, love of love and love of food. As Rick put it, Argentinians are the cowboys of South America, and meat is what they eat.

We sat at one of the outdoor tables at the Gaucho Grill despite the wind and looming clouds. We had to go over the pages of the menu several times not being able to choose what to eat. Thankfully they have one menu item that has pretty much everything included in it enough for two people so we finally decided on that.

While waiting for our appetizer empanada, we sipped our Argentinian versions of beer and sangria and scooped chimichurri on pieces of warm bread.

Then came the very light and flakey empanada stuffed generously with spinach and cheese. Of all the empanadas we have sampled so far this definitely took its place in the top three.

A flurry of activity happened at our table with the servers making room on our table for the arrival of the main course Parrillada. We were speechless when they lowered the table-grill in the middle of the table with sizzling pieces of Skirt steak, Filet Mignon, Chorizo, quarter of chicken on the
bone, mollejas, chicken skewer & veggies including a beautiful flower of onion. The two sides of rosemary grilled zucchinis and Rice de Buenos Aires arrived shortly after.

The menu said mollejas were grilled tender sweetbreads so I looked for bread-like things on the grill but when I could not find any I asked my Rickcyclopedia and learned that sweetbread is in fact the culinary name for the animals' innards which by the way tasted so good.

While we enjoyed the delicious selection of meats, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" started playing and bright sunlight visited our table making us think of Michael...

Soon the song was over, sun was gone, and we were halfway through the grill already feeling very satisfied. We decided to box the rest of the food and share a serving of Panqueque con Dulce de Leche.  These are traditional oven made Argentine Crepes filled with homemade Dulce de Leche served with a dollop of creme and slices of strawberry.

This time we did not have the luxury of lingering for this was a working weekend so left the restaurant in a hurry, thanking the servers while running by them and promising to come back soon.

¡Buen apetito!

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