My Birthday Dinner. With Meat.

by Matt on February 13, 2007

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I like to think I have a decent grasp on the 7 deadly sins. I’m not overly vain, anger isn’t an issue for me, and sloth & laziness have never fit into my neurotically busy life. But when we headed to La Cabrera in Buenos Aires for dinner last night, that one little tiny vice-o-mine came crashing into full view.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Gluttony.

Yea yea yea, I know it’s a sin. But it was my 37th birthday and I’ll find any excuse to indulge and overdo it on every possible level. And last night I think we all exceeded our goals.

Buenos Aires is packed with parillas, the traditional Argentine meal of grilled beef that makes the Texas barbecues I grew up with pale in comparison. It’s not my goal to incite a riot here, but you can’t deny the love and passion the porteños have when it comes to their beef. I figured there could be no better way to celebrate than with wine, beef, and good friends.

La Cabrera is located in the Palermo Viejo area of Buenos Aires. Filled with tree lined streets, the area is home to small boutiques, cafes, warehouses and artists’ galleries and is quite the hot spot for hipsters and urbanites alike. I’ve had my share of parillas, some great and some not-so-great, so when La Cabrera was recommended by everyone we met along our trip I knew it could not be missed.  We arrived at 9 to a restaurant that was cozy yet packed, loud and filled with the sounds of people leisurely enjoying a meal. We were strategically seated in the crowded room, ordered a decent bottle of torrontes and proceeded to sin. And sin we did.

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I’m had my share of large meals, but my eyes and delicate sensibilities (hahaha) are always so shocked when an Argentine steak is placed before me. It’s always large, it’s always prepared with nothing more than salt, and I always wonder if I will be able to finish it. And finish it I always do.

I ordered ojo de bife, a punto. This is basically a rib eye, prepared “a punto” which translates to medium. As a rule, Argentina tends to cook their meat longer than we are used to, and this fact caused a bit of frustration with my traveling friends (we’ve sinced learned to ask for things “jugoso”). But in La Cabrera’s case, my steak was perfect and completely delicious, served with an assortment of sides like eggplant and nuts, couscous, tomatoes in sauce, sweet pickled garlic and various small salads. Yes, I tasted everything that was offered, but I was so completed enthralled with my steak that almost nothing else seemed to exist in that moment in time.

Like most meals here in Buenos Aires, we left a few hours later, completely satisfied and in a true beef frenzy. La Cabrera was so completely delicious that we have plans on returning and doing it all over again next week.

Gluttony never tasted so good.

Aftermath

 

La Cabrera, Cabrera 5099, Cuidad de Buenos Aires, Palermo.  Tel: 4831-7002

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

s'kat February 13, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful meat! Happy birthday!

s'kat February 13, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful meat! Happy birthday!

June February 13, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Happy birthday! You only turn 37 once – good for you for indulging.

Jonah February 13, 2007 at 3:02 pm

God I loved BA when I was there. Love your images, what camera did you bring to get these wonderful wonderful images?

Beth February 13, 2007 at 3:10 pm

Longtime lurker… My birthday is February 12 too! Love the site and the pics!

kevin February 13, 2007 at 3:20 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Go Matt! Go Adam! Go Matt! Go Adam! Go Matt! Go Adam! Go Matt! Go Adam! Go Matt! Go Adam! Go Matt! Go Adam! (okay, I’ll stop now)

Anita February 13, 2007 at 3:47 pm

Happy birthday, you carnivorous sinner, you. :D

Brett February 13, 2007 at 3:54 pm

From one glutton to another, I wish you the happiest of birthdays! Hope you slept in the next day (and then took a siesta after that).

On a side note, I’d love to see more photos of the interiors of traditional BA restaurants, esp. if you’ve visited any with counter dining.

L February 13, 2007 at 4:34 pm

Happy Day!!! Glad you are having such a great time!

-L

The Culinary Chase February 13, 2007 at 6:01 pm

Happy Birthday! Buenos Aires, what a great place to celebrate it! Cheers!

The Culinary Chase February 13, 2007 at 6:02 pm

Happy Birthday! Buenos Aires, what a great place to celebrate it! Cheers!

Tana February 13, 2007 at 6:23 pm

Happy happy birthday, dear Matt!

XOXOXOXOX

cindy February 13, 2007 at 7:33 pm

feliz cumpleanos matt! wow, that meal looks like something that my hubby (also a texan!) would go crazy over! it looks delicious! hmm…his birthday is coming up in a couple weeks too, maybe an argentinian themed dinner is the way to go!

erin February 13, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Ah, thanks for the visual reminder of this wonderful restaurant–my husband and I ate there for our last meal in BA in November and had an amazing meal. I love all the little dishes they bring you of this and that. Of course the steak is the star and we devoured ours….Can’t wait to go back. Happy birthday!

bea at La tartine gourmande February 13, 2007 at 11:48 pm

Happy birthday to you Matt! Look at your happy face! You are beaming!

Sil (Bs As) February 14, 2007 at 4:32 am

¡¡Feliz Cumple!!
Glad you enjoyed La Cabrera.

nika February 14, 2007 at 6:10 am

Happy B Day :-) Looks like a delicious feast, I gained at least 5 pounds reading your post today, thanks!

Marce February 14, 2007 at 8:17 am

Happy birthday, Matt. That food looks incredible, I´ll have to head to La Cabrera soon.
Oh another “parrilla” that´s always recommended is “La Dorita” and “La Dorita de enfrente” in Palermo Hollywood (yep, we are freaky enough here in BA to have a “Palermo Soho” and a “Palermo Hollywood”… no way to defend that, people are just snobish sometimes).

Melissa February 14, 2007 at 8:35 am

Happy Birthday, dear Matt!!! You certainly know how to celebrate in style. Here’s to the next 37 years of delicious gluttony!

iamchanelle February 14, 2007 at 9:56 am

happy birthday, matt! thanks for sharing your special day with all of us. :)
here is to many, many more delicious memories!

J. Wade February 14, 2007 at 10:44 am

perfect birthday! it looked very happy.

Amy Sherman February 14, 2007 at 11:26 am

Happy, happy, happy! Here’s hoping our paths cross in the non-virtual world preferably before you turn 38.

Melissa February 14, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Happy Birthday! And cheers to living it up!

A.J. February 14, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Happy Birthday. I remember a birthday steak I ate 21 years ago, when I turned 10. There’s something very festive about steak.

You’ve made me want to visit Buenos Aires now.

Enjoy!

Paul February 14, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Happy Birthday Matt!
Now that steak is one that reminds me of home!! looks delicious!

Charmaine February 15, 2007 at 6:36 am

Please tell me you have plans to go to that place in the country, La Lechuza. You won’t regret it!!! :)

Andreea February 15, 2007 at 7:15 am

happy birthday matt (belated!). looks like you’re having a fantastic time.

Chicken Fried Gourmet February 15, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Happy belated birthday Matt !!!!

Cenk February 16, 2007 at 8:07 am

That charming smile says it all: You are just too happy to be there! Happy birthday Matt!

Melanie (the Canadian) February 18, 2007 at 12:35 pm

Hi Matt, I sat beside you and your friends that night at La Cabrera. What a wonderful blog!

I have a picture of you and your crew from that night. Please send me your email address and I’ll shoot it on over.

We’ve just left BsAs but our hotel concierge highly recommended El Boliche de Dario. We sadly couldn’t make it but all of the young hotel staff drooled at the mere mention of the name. It’s somewhere north of the city but he swears that it’s truly authentic with zero tourists and all the parilla (ask for the “parillada”) you could possibly ask for.

Mel & Hugh (aka the Canadians)

Mae March 6, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Ok, i’m a little behind… (as usual)

Belated Happy Birthday!!!

You’re looking gorgeous in your photo as usual. 37? Really? I’d say, you look a lot younger than that. Honest.

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