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Parrilla Tour Buenos Aires

Provoleta

In a city of thirteen million people, you can imagine how many culinary options there are to choose from. So what’s a culture-loving foodie to do when presented with so many choices? Easy. Go on The Parrilla Tour of Buenos Aires. Founded by David Carlisle of Portland, Oregon and Santiago Palermo of Buenos Aires, the tour offers an authentic sampling of BA’s best and most typical foods.

Empanadas (David Carlisle)

Empanadas (photo credit Jocelyn Mandryk)

The first stop was a parrilla known for their choripan, BA’s version of a hotdog. The perfectly baked french bread engulfs the slightly spiced chorizo. Add a dollop of chimichurri sauce, and you have a divine snack. Next up, we stopped outside a casa de empanada to nosh on another local favorite, the shredded beef empanada.

choripan

Deceivingly delicious choripan

empanada time

Empanada time- Parrilla Tour co-owner David with Chandler

Parrilla Food Tour

Choripan (photo credit Jocelyn Mandryk)

The third stop was the most impressive. David gave us a teaser before heading there. “The next parilla,” he explained, “is not open to the public.” In fact, there is a “closed” sign that hangs on the front door- always. Even if you did know about this clandestine operation, the owners only let you enter if they know who you are! “Amazing,” someone said. Our interest peaked, we headed with the utmost anticipation to Palermo’s secret dining spot.

"Closed" - but not really

Cerrado. “Closed” – but not really

Stepping through that door was like going through a cultural worm hole. We were transported to an alternate universe. Not really. But it felt like we were somehow included in this secret club of completely local people. This was the real BA. No tourists allowed.

parilla food tour

Secret Parrilla- (photo credit Jocelyn Mandryk)

secret parrilla

It’s no secret that their parrilla is a secret

We sashayed past the kitchen, through the tables of dining Porteños, and up the stairs, where we dined al fresco (sort of) on the enclosed rooftop deck. The first course was provoleta, a popular Argentinian appetizer of barbecued cheese, often seasoned with chili and oregano and served with chimichurri. For the main event, the infamous Bife de Chorizo (sirloin) made a flavorful appearance.  There was also a side ensalada (salad) passed around.

secret parrilla

Enjoying a clandestine meal upstairs at the Secret Parrilla

provoleta

David slices steak. Provoleta sits in front.

Our fourth and final stop was for dessert at a heladeria (ice cream shop). Very similar to Italian gelato, Argentinian ice cream comes in various cream and fruit flavors. The most popular flavor, dulce de leche, is also offered in many different varietals (with chocolate chips, with hazelnut, etc.). Argentinians LOVE their dulce de leche. They seem to put it on everything. Even toast!

Delicious (David Carlisle)

Ice cream for dessert (photo credit Jocelyn Mandryk)

heladeria

Seriously good ice cream

dulce de leche

For breakfast this morning, dulce de leche on toast. It’s better than nutella!

The cost of this delightful afternoon is only $69 USD- a total steal! All food (so much food!) and wine are included in this progressive lunch tour. If you find yourself hungry in Buenos Aires, be sure to book your Parrilla Tour!

parrilla_tour

Mas vino! (photo credit Jocelyn Mandryk)

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6 Responses to Parrilla Tour Buenos Aires

  1. David July 26, 2013 at 3:22 PM #

    Nice blog post. I followed a link here from your TripAdvisor review of the Parrilla Tour. I just wanted to ask if you tried any other food tours in Buenos Aires, seeing as you said in your review there that this is the best in the city?

    Oh, and the secret parrilla don’t need to know who you are to let you in. As long as you know where it is, and they have room, they will let you in 🙂

    • Lindsay July 27, 2013 at 9:41 PM #

      Hi David. Thanks for commenting. I did not try any other food “tours”- but we definitely dined all around town (I am working on a foodie post on dining out in Buenos Aires!) It was a really great tour, though, and my friends and I can’t stop talking about it and dreaming about the choripan! I didn’t realize about the Secret Parrilla. I thought you had to have a reservation to go there, at least that is what I was told. It was a very cool spot with great food.

  2. Whitney August 3, 2013 at 3:54 PM #

    My mouth waters every time I see these photos of the Choripan and Empanadas. They were my favorite on the trip. I want to go back NOW!

  3. Kellie @ The Fundamental Alchemist August 20, 2013 at 6:28 AM #

    I’ve never seen empanadas before! They look like miniature Cornish pasties :o)

    • Lindsay August 20, 2013 at 10:25 PM #

      @Kellie – They are DELICIOUS! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Cornish pasty!

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