Argentina = Beef. Cow-eating capital of the universe. BEEF people, beef. In a big way. More parillas than one could really begin to count, the smell of charcoal smoke and deliciously burning animal fat waft into the streets of Buenos Aire, drawing in hordes for great slabs of beef and platters of papas fritas. The bony asado, with ribs far larger than any American cut, the dinosaur bones laced with fatty meat and overlaid with a triangular strip of charcoaled beef. The run of the mill lomo de bife, as far as we can tell, a tenderloin, available at charismatic corner cafes, white table cloth restaurants, and shoved between two hunks of white bread from a choripan hawker on a busy street. Matambre, a flavorfully stringy skirt steak best dunked in oily criollo. And the ojo de bife, ribeye, which we never tried, too enamored with the garden-variety lomo.

Somehow the sweaty meat-meister comes across totally regal.

The parilla is a bit of a scene, what seem like whole sides of cows hoisted up over smoky charcoal flames, the beef master tending his meat, turning sides of ribs around and shuffling sizzling links of chorizo. You can’t help but get drawn in, ordering a pound or so of cow despite the fact that you just slammed six sugary media lunas. The meat always arrives alone, when you order steak, you get a. steak. No dressing, no side, no drizzling of god forsaken truffle oil. Delightfully, deliciously simple. Metal mixing bowls of fried potatoes or leafy salads are passed around, hot oily potatoes mingled with garlic the perfect side to beef the world ’round.

And maybe it was just my charcoal-smoke-hazed mind full of images of grass-grazing Pampas cows, but the beef is dang good.

And… there are many new photos! Including (but not limited to) clown portraits.

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