If you are a foodie, the best part of travelling is the food. It doesn’t matter whether you take a plane or a train, you can be a food explorer right in your own backyard. Jamie spends most of her vacations in New York City where she can enjoy the many great kosher restaurants and tourist sites that residents often take for granted. I usually need to leave the continent to feel like I am on vacation. I have adventure in my soul and I love to travel -- even with the kids.
When my first child was about 18 months old we were looking to a take a winter vacation. Since it’s cold in Europe and we didn’t want to go too far, we decided on South America. When we learned that Buenos Aires, Argentina was not only a great place to stretch the dollar, but overflowing with kosher restaurants we were sold.
Our winter is Argentina’s summer, so it is the perfect winter destination with barely any time difference, which helped traveling with a small child. The Jewish people first came to Buenos Aires when fleeing persecution from the Spanish Inquisition and more Jews followed from all over Europe during the early part of the 20th century. Although many have since left to Israel or North America, Argentina still has the largest Jewish community in South America.
Buenos Aires, Argentina is the only place outside of Israel where you can find a kosher McDonald’s. Despite the fact that I probably wouldn’t go to a Mcdonald’s back home even if I wasn’t kosher, I knew that we would have to take my son for his first and possibly only McDonald’s, if only to make his future preschool friends jealous. We actually had to go twice to get a decent picture because my son had a meltdown the first day that even a Happy Meal couldn’t fix!
A highlight of Buenos Aires is the ridiculous platters of meat we ate at every restaurant. Argentina is known for grass fed beef and as you can see they set down a mini grill with smoldering hot coals on the table. All you need is some chimichurri and French fries with garlic and parsley. I didn’t see many other vegetables aside from salad, but it was vacation.
Since that trip I’ve adopted a number of Argentine flavors into my repertoire, although I haven’t yet managed a mini grill on the kitchen table. Chimichurri sauce is an herb and lemon or vinegar blend that complements grilled steak and meats. This recipe is simple but is so versatile it can really be made with any herbs you have on hand and spiced with chliis for an added kick. I also love to add fresh chopped garlic and parsley to my roasted potatoes or baked potato fries.
My trip was too long ago to share actual restaurant reviews, but I loved El Galope and Mama Jacinta. Check out Dani Kelin’s article for a full restaurant guide. http://yeahthatskosher.com/2010/06/buenos-aires-argentina/
Have you been to Buenos Aires or anywhere else in South America? Let us know all about your trip.
Main Image - Chimichurri Beef Kabob