Thursday, April 2, 2009

Great food and wine in Argentina

We had the great pleasure of enjoying excellent food and wine for a most reasonable price tonight. The place was La Macarena in La Angostura, Argentina. The wine we had was a Luigi Bosca Sauvignon Blanc Reserva, and is shown in the picture. Most people in Argentina drink red wine, and Malbec is the perennial favorite. It's not easy to find Sauvignon Blanc, and it's especially difficult to find a good one like this. The waiter warned us that it was expensive (90 pesos is definitely at the high end of most restaurant wine lists), but at $24 it could compete with just about anything you can find in the U.S.

We loved our trout last night at La Porfiada, so we decided to try it again at La Macarena. We split the trout, and that ended up being the perfect size, but the fish was just about perfect in its own right. That says a lot, because my standard of excellence for fish is Mama's Fish House in Maui. We went there last summer for lunch (I would definitely recommend having lunch there rather than dinner, since the prices are cheaper and the view of the beach during the day is so much better than at night), and it was then that we concluded that there is nowhere on the planet that we are aware of that is better for fish, environment, service, and general all-around beauty. The trout tonight was right up there with the best of Mama's.

As an appetizer we had the crunchy polenta with mushrooms and onions, and a green salad. That reminds me that you won't find ranch, thousand island, italian or french dressing in Argentina, but you will find your own special blend of oils, vinegars, and/or lemon juice (i.e., you make your own dressing using those ingredients). My wife likes olive oil and lemon juice, and we were presented with fresh squeezed lemon juice in a handy little pitcher.

For dessert we shared the Apple Tart. This was a combination apple tart, apple pie, apple crumble and apple heaven. The secret was in the very light crust, the ultra light crumble, and most especially in the thin slices of grapefruit and orange interspersed with the apple. The ice cream that accompanied this delight was a wonderful blend of vanilla bean and some kind of spice.

We had one bottle of wine tonight but couldn't resist asking for another two glasses to accompany the dessert. The total bill, including tip: about $80.

17 comments:

Cristian said...

Hmm delicious...I assume that you are a wealthy person if you went to a restaurant like that. I wonder if you are aware of the fact that you are surrounded by poverty where you are, and that you could easily help some people by spending a bit less in luxuries and unnecessary goods and a bit more in helping people who can't even afford to eat every day. It would be a small sacrifice for you, but a huge improvement in others' lives.

Justine said...

Christian: get a life. GET. A. LIFE.

Hockey Dad said...

Cristian,

It is certainly terrible that Scott is touring far away in all these epicurean delights, and even worse that he broadcasts it all over the world, in such tantalizing detail.

I'm hungry every time I read these posts, it gives me travel fever, and it even puts me through the inconvenience of imagining a visit to Argentina...

You yourself ought start us off by setting a good example! For starts; sell your computer and donate the proceeds!

Cristian said...

Justine, thanks for your advice. I haven't been able to get a life yet, although I should say that I enjoy exchanging ideas with people who don't think like me.

Hockey Dad, As most of the poor people in Argentina, I would also have loved to eat that delicious polenta with mushrooms and onions (it is certainly better than picking up the leftovers from the garbage can). But I can't, because all I have is this old computer and some money for groceries. How is your life going? any proceeds to donate?

Justine said...

I just don't like how you blatantly assume that my dad has not sacrificed anything to be in the position he is in today or that he isn't charitable....he probably donates more to charity than you have ever in your life time. THAT is what I mean by get a life!

Scott Grannis said...

Cristian: How would it help the poor people of Argentina if I didn't go to their restaurants and pay for their services? What's wrong with enjoying the fruits of other's labors and paying for it? Everyone needs to work, and they can only get paid if they offer something worthwhile to others. I suppose you would rather have only the rich people work and then give away their money to others who don't work... If you aren't making enough money perhaps you should try working harder, like I did. I spent many years struggling to get to the end of the month.

Cristian said...

Scott, there is nothing wrong with paying for others' goods and services. But notice that by going to a fancy restaurant you are not benefiting those who really need help; most of your money went to the owner of the restaurant, service providers, employees (who by the way work probably harder than you and yet for some mysterious reason earn much less) but definitely not to those who are excluded from the market and, therefore, from having a possibility to buy, sell, work or "enjoy the fruits of their labor". And I hope you do not think that they are excluded from the market because they are lazy; that simply is not true in 99% of the cases, at least in Argentina. So I do not think there is anything wrong with going to a fancy restaurant, but I do have some issues with spending money in unnecessary goods when part of the money could be used to substantially improve the lives of many people.

Scott Grannis said...

Whether I spend $50 on a nice dinner or give the $50 to some poor family is not going to make a big difference to the condition of the poor in Argentina.

What would make a world of difference, however, is if the government would get its act together. Eliminate corruption. Stabilize the currency. Respect the rule of law. Pay its debts. Stop imposing punitive taxes on exports. Privatize industries instead of nationalizing them. Stop controlling prices. Respect private property and free markets.

Argentina's biggest problem is that it has very little capital. It is not attracting capital because it doesn't respect capital. If the government did what I suggest above the improvement in the life of the poor in Argentina would be nothing short of miraculous.

Cristian said...

I think that $50 could make a *huge* difference in some peoples' lives. I once met poor child in the south of Argentina who had to take turns with his brother to go to school because they had only one pair of shoes. For them, $50 means being able to go to school every day and, therefore, having better chances to work in a restaurant in the future.

As for the government, I am not sure if free market is the solution--that is a different story--but I do think that the fact that others are not doing their part does not exempt us from our individual obligation to help people once in a while.

Scott Grannis said...

Cristian: if you can't see how changing government for the better would help the poor far more than individuals deciding to give money to poor kids, then you have a big problem.

Cristian said...

Obviously changing government would improve peoples lives, I am not denying that. I am simply saying that our individual obligation to help those in need is completely independent from what the government does. Even if the government were the worst ever, we would still have some sort of obligation to help them.

Ryan said...

Who the F**K is this Christian guy?! Get out of here, go away! Go give money to poor people or something. You sound like a complete moron.

Cristian said...

Ryan, I don't see what's wrong with expressing my personal opinion about these things. And by the way, I'd also like to hear yours...

Ryan said...

Cristian,
What you're saying sounds so ridiculous. So much so, that it seems as if you're messing with Scott. I'm laughing to myself when I read over your post's. I can't believe for one second that you're actually serious. As far as my opinion goes, you're an idiot.

Mike@ said...

Guys & gals, calm down everybody.

Cristian is a well known troll ("the Tonto from Toronto"), that bugged us to no end at El Opinador until we established the delete-on-sight policy.

Scott, when we first linked to your Mendoza posts, this asshole even bragged in our comments about how he would begin the "blog harrassment" here too. Looks like he started already.

I strongly recommend Delete-on-sight and wasting no time on this POS.

Cristian said...

Guys, I hope you ignore MIke's comments about me. I would like to keep exchanging ideas about this and other subjects. Although I usually enjoy debating with people who do not think like me, I am always respectful when I write, I never make comments about peoples' personal lives and I know when to stop a conversation. This is something that, unfortunately, people from El Opinador did not understand (and by the way, Im not a troll, I am a normal guy who enjoys engaging in adult and rational discussion)

Ryan said...

Thank you Mike@.
And I thought Mark A. Sadowski was bad - boy was I wrong!