I Left My Heart….in Buenos Aires!

Whoa! Where to start? As I have mentioned previously, I spent the major part of Las Navidades with most of my family and some friends (both old and new!), in Buenos Aires this past year. Let me just say, that my sons have threatened to move to BA…..that’s how great the experience was! The weather, the country, the people, the food…there really aren’t enough adjectives in the dictionary to explain how wonderful our experience was in the country where El Tango was born.

We arrived in Buenos Aires on the early afternoon of Christmas Eve, where we were met by friends Paul and Paula Scharff, who were spending the holidays with Paula’s family (they all live in BA). So as not to waste any time, they whisked us off to the El Mercado restaurant in the Faena+ Universe Hotel in the Puerto Madero section of BA( where the Scharffs keep a lovely apartment) where we enjoyed our first encounter with the Argentine marvel known as the empanada.

Marc, Dave, Angie and Lola in Mercado courtyard

Empanada platter (left) and Beef Picadillo Empanada (right)

Blue Cheese and Onion Empanada and Chorizo Empanada

An Humita (Creamed Corn Empanada)

The Mercado Restaurant is very eclectically appointed with all elements of Argentine antiques, tchochtkes, and memorabilia.

The wood burning pizza ovens in Mercado

We weren’t able to linger over our delicious merienda, as we had to prepare for our Christmas Eve celebrations that were to be hosted by Paula’s family at their “summer” getaway home. Paula’s sisters, as well as her aunt, Ana, all have homes at a rugby club called Olumi. Along with a group of lifelong friends, they share holidays, birthdays, and vacations on a common property. We were part of a party of 40 people that were expected!

Neighbors and friends man the bar at Olumi

The pool

Dressing the tables for Christmas Eve dinner

I can’t remember the last time we were met with such warmth and hospitality by people we had never met before! Dinner was a communal effort between the party hosts, and what an effort it was! Since it is Spring/Summer in Buenos Aires for Christmas, it was an extensive cold buffet that included roast pork, grilled chicken, and to my surprise, Vitello Tonnato (Italian cuisine is prominently represented in Argentina)! Everyone was in a festive mood, and in no time at all the party was in full swing.

Laura gets her party on!

Roast Pork

Pavita with Orange Relish (Turkey Breast)

Roast Chicken (left) and Chard Stuffed Pizza (right)

Vitello Tonnato

Corn Salad (left) and Potato and Egg Salad (very Argentine!)

Those were just the highlights of the meal, if you can believe it! Dessert was another marvelous affair with these two gems featured:

Strawberry Semi Freddo

Dulce de Leche Tart with merengue

After washing this delicious meal down with the Argentine version of sangria (made with hard cider) it was time to burn off some of the calories with some dancing and karaoke! I had the feeling that I was going to spend an incredibly wonderful week in sunny Buenos Aires!


Marcelo (Paula’s baby brother) Marc, David and Maria Chiquita (Paula’s neice)



3 Responses to “I Left My Heart….in Buenos Aires!”

  1. 1 Anthony January 10, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Hola Daiz,
    Nice to see you had an amazing trip with your family. What a great way to spend Christmas! Now that you are back, I must get on the stick and send you that rice pudding recipe!, before Christmas comes again!!!!! Happy New Year, Anthony

  2. 2 Bunny January 10, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Damn, my mouth is watering! I’m happy you had such a great time! Happy New Year, lovie!

  3. 3 Paul Scharff January 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Incredible to share, with you,the holidays, and with your lovely family in such a beautiful country such as Argentina, It’s amazing how you ate your way through the country and haven’t gained a pound. This week showed Argentina (family and frIends) what a great energy you have, what a terrific mother you are, what a great dancer and karaoke singer you are (I still hear the chants of Viva Daisy de Puerto Rico) and of coarse what a good sport you are. You were the topic of conversation for days to come, Argentina has a new friend.

    Paul Scharff

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