A night in the cultural capital

Trip Start Sep 28, 2007
Trip End Jun 25, 2008

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Córdoba is the second largest city in Argentina and the internationally recognised cultural capital - not that we indulged in anything cultural, unless eating  Argentinian steak and drinking local beer counts.

Feeling a bit low on iron after three months on the road, I was looking forward to Argentina.  It is a country so closely linked with steak in my mind that I half expected them to come flying at me at every opportunity:  on  the bus, at the fast-food stand, but no. On buses they serve chicken posing as rubbberised meat substitute, or ham and cheese (one 'dinner' we had consisted of two tiny spiraled ham and cheese sandwiches , a couple of slices of ham and cheese with a roll and for dessert a sort of spongecake, sweetened ham number).  Hamburger stands do burgers with the thinnest mince patties (I've seen cardboard thicker),  so to find steak I  had to go into a real restaurant.

We found a place in Córdoba that had a kind of BBQ area set off behind glass in the middle of the restaurant and there was a man cooking up huge slabs of meat. This was more like it. And yes, my steak was fantastic, with a subtle smoky flavour.  Also delicious were the fries that came with it.  A little salad and it would have been the perfect meal but in Argentina you typically only get meat and a choice of one side, so fries were in and tomato and lettuce were out.

While I am on the subject of food, I got over my Venezuelan pear juice addiction by substituting it for an Argentinian favourite, a sweet caramel spread made from milk called dulce de leche (literally sweet from milk, but different from sweetened condensed milk). Great on bread, in porridge, in coffee or, naughtily, just by the spoon.

Adequately fueled, we managed to wander around the city a bit and do some essential shopping.

The best thing we saw were the tiled pictures on the side of a church. We didn't have time for more sight-seeing, but our impression was of a likable city. Next stop: Bariloche, Patagonian lakes district.
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