Yesterday I had the most adorable couple come to Anuva for a Buenos Aires wine tasting. They were inquisitive, interested and fun; the perfect wine students! At the end of the tasting they quizzed me for suggestions of what do while exploring Puerto Madero and the Costanera Sur. One thing came to mind: eat bondiola sandwiches and choripan! Unfortunately they were vegetarian so clearly it wasn’t the best thing to suggest but for those of you who aren’t veggies I will explain more about this delicious (and slightly dirty) meaty treat.
Firstly, the Costanera is part of the Buenos Aires coastline running alongside the Rio del Plata, the widest river in the world separating Argentina from Uruguay. Costanera Sur is the south section, essentially a long pedestrianized walkway running alongside reed-riddled river, situated just before the ecological reserve, some three blocks behind the famous swanky regenerated and sparkling new port/restaurant district of Puerto Madero, where sites such at la Puente de la Mujer and the historic docked boat ‘Buque Museo Fragata ARA Presidente Sarmiento’ can be found. The walkway is a popular weekend hangout for lazy strolling (or running for energetic healthy types), drinking mate, inspecting the available cheap trinkets displayed on the ground, and most importantly, for lunch.
You’ll spot them as soon as you arrive, dozens of the ramshackle food stands or ‘carritos’ dotted along the walkway, bellowing out sweet scented smoke as they cook up the chorizo and bondiola on the parrilla grill; this is true traditional Argentinean fast food. Argentinean chorizo is a fatty, coarse meat sausage normally made with pork and minimal spice, while bondiola is a thin slice of pork steak that comes from the fleshy neck of the pig and is normally prepared with salt and pepper or sometimes marinated in lime (the pork, not the pig!). The final step before these sinful but delicious snacks are complete is for the meaty goodness to be jammed inside a huge crusty baguette style loaf and handed over to the greedy consumer in order to be slathered in a selection of salad fillings and sauces including chimichurri, salsa criolla, tomato ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, thousand island dressing…you get the idea.
These are known as the best sandwiches in Buenos Aires and rightly so; I actually find it incredibly hard to choose between the chroipan (literal combination of the two words chorizo and bread in spanish) and the bondiola. Both are equally indulgent, delectable and totally greasy, in a good way….if there is a good way??! The choripan is full of strong meaty, salty flavor with a slightly rough texture that fuses with the doughiness of the bread beautifully while bondiola has a scrumptious buttery texture, with a subtle flavors, unless you get a piece of crunchy crackling (cooked skin), which is seriously bad for you but seriously tasty! Whatever you get, if you need to go back for seconds, you should be awarded a medal, the sandwiches are huge and satisfyingly filling!
Of course, heading to Costanera for one of these tyipcal Argentinean snacks is not the most refined, healthy dining experience in Buenos Aires but I don’t care when they are only $15Ars and damn tasty at that! If you really feel that bad about chowing down on these guilty pleasures, then you can justify it by walking it off in Buenos Aires’ stunning natural ecological reserve, which is just a stone throw away!
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