Tag Archives: champagne

Buenos Aires Drinking (The Alcohol Kind)

Mixology is Los Angeles is crap. It came out of the counterculture of always wanting to do/be something different. People in Los Angeles are willing to drink it just because it’s different and not because it actually tastes good. That’s why so many of the drinks in LA taste like cough syrup. If I’m in Los Angeles, don’t bother me with your mixed concoctions. Give me a beer or whisky on the rocks, but in Buenos Aires it’s a different story.

The concept of mixology in Argentina came out of a necessity during the early 2000’s when economic hardships made a variety of liquors hard to obtain. Bartenders had to get creative to make tasty libations, and even though they have access to a lot more today, they are still continuing to mix up some of the best drinks I’ve ever tasted.

This is Daniel, the best bartender in Argentina. He is the resident bartender at Home Hotel in Buenos Aires where we stayed. He built the entire drink menu on his own. He had just returned from a world bar tending competition in Singapore so we were fortunate enough to taste some of his drinks. My favorite drink was the Sweet n’ Spicy Scotch.

While we were spoiled to have Daniel right downstairs from our room, he’s not the only one mixing up great cocktails. We were pointed to 878, a speak easy that has gained quite a bit of popularity recently among locals. Fortunately we had a call put in to expect us at the door. This place has over 100 varieties of Scotch but still serves up some great mixed drinks.

Liquor by the bottle in the markets is more expensive in Buenos Aires than it is in the states. If you look at the price of a cocktail in a bar, it’s about $8 USD. Still I was happy to pay for this, because the quality of the drinks was so good. If liquor isn’t your thing that’s okay too, because beer and wine are very inexpensive.

This beer and wine cost less than $5 USD. The beer costs just under $1 USD. It’s delicious wine, and in case you were wondering, yes that is a standard full sized bottle of wine next to that beer. With alcohol being so inexpensive you have to be careful that you don’t go too crazy…like this.

Our new friends, the Portenos (locals). The blondes are sisters from Mallorca, Spain who seem to be permanent residents in Buenos Aires. The guy bought me a whiskey, and when I went to return the favor with a round of shots, I realized I didn’t have any more Pesos and the bar couldn’t take my American Benjis. My new friend picked up the tab! This picture was taken in the private lounge area of the bar.

We also met some awesome folks from the UK. When the Portenos left to hit up another club we brought our new friends with us to the lounge area. The security recognized Michelle and I and asked if it was just us two. I looked at our new friends from the UK and told the bouncer, “Somos juntos. (We’re together.)” I bet that’s the first time a bunch of foreigners took the private lounge area.

I don’t turn red when I drink. I’m red because of too much sun, but yes I am throwing up Westside in both those pictures. I may not be red because of the alcohol, but I’m definitely quite drunk because of the alcohol.

I woke up the next morning to find a champagne cork in the bathtub.

If you’re looking for a trip to enjoy some great drink culture and night life, Buenos Aires is your place. These people party until 5:00 AM. They definitely know how to enjoy life. Fortunately Buenos Aires is a city much like New York City in that there aren’t a whole lot of historical and cultural sites to see, because I had to hardest time trying to get Michelle up to do anything the next day.

Moderation is for losers.

Saturday morning I got a call from my cousin. He said he was in my area and wanted to know if I wanted to get brunch. Knowing that my cousin is twenty five and that twenty five year olds like booze, I took him to Overland Cafe for the all-you-can-drink champagne brunch.

This was my meal. Nothing fancy here. Meat and potatoes.

Crab Cakes Benedict.

Instead of an English Muffin you have a crab cake! I’m allergic, but I was tempted to try this. Would that be ultimate food blogger dedication? It’s not like I’d die.

I’ve got to say this was not one of my smarter ideas. My cousin loved it though. About three bottles in he said, “We should have a family reunion and drink together.” Sounds fun, huh? Except no one in our family drinks.

After brunch I took a nap until about 6:30 PM. I was supposed to be at dinner at that time, but fortunately for me my ride was running late. It’s a good thing I had a ride too, because I was drunk when I woke up from my nap. For dinner we went to Cuban Bistro, probably the only non Asian joint in Alhambra.  Why would we check out a place like this in an area known for its Asian eats? Well we needed a place that was walking distance to Ultrazone Laser Tag, but the birthday boy is afraid of Asian food that does not have the words Panda and Express in the restaurant name. The restaurant chosen was really good nonetheless.

Masitas del Puerco. The skin on the pork was fried so perfectly and the inside was tender, juicy, and had a big kick of citrus flavor. Couple that with the plaintains and Arroz Moros. I could eat this all day.

After a meal like this there’s nothing left to do but run around with a laser gun and shoot your friends. If you’ve had excessive amounts of alcohol, you might also take a random kid hostage in the arena and film a ransom movie on your iPhone 4.

This is NOT the way to start a new year.

Poor choices on New Year’s Eve lead to a bad start to the new year. That’s really all you need to know, but for those of you that like to see me in embarrassing moments, read on please.

Dinner was at Jitlada in Thai Town. For those of you unfamiliar with Jitlada, the best stuff on the menu is the back page, which is known to be incredibly spicy. It’s good but not really the kind of meal you enjoy before a night out on the town. It’s normally safer to enjoy a meal here and then speed a night close to a toilet.

Fortunately for us the pain we experienced was only during the meal and it was on the inlet side of the body. It hurts so good.

After dinner we went back to Annie’s place to have a few drinks. Then the really bad decisions started as we headed out to the bar.

I think it was no more than a fifteen minute walk to the bar, but by the halfway point I put down three beers. There would have been a fourth, but halfway through it I realized I was too full. Here Michelle and I stop to pose.

As you can see by my facial expression, I am already having too much fun. Yet I keep drinking. You won’t see me  in the rest of the pictures with my friends at the bar, because I decided to make new friends and hang out with them.

On the walk home, I decided to take a rest on this couch. I’m sure it was filthy.

This picture isn’t to point out that someone else had too much fun. This is just to point out that Annie had a poster of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Why?

Michelle gets all the blog love.

I don’t remember this, but I tried to feed soda to Fred. Based on pictures he was not happy. Probably like waking a hibernating bear.

I spent the rest of the night in the kitchen, wedged next to the fridge.

Then my friends drew on my face. I’m talking hands free! My only complaint is that they did this AFTER they drew on my other friend’s foot WITH THE SAME MARKER!

This is the good knee. I have random bruises on my arms and I feel like I pulled my lats. I also looked at my jacket and thought I had blood all over it, but I was later informed that Michelle used me as a napkin. Thanks to all my friends that stuck by me so that these were the limitations to my injuries.

The rest of the year can only be better. Bring it on 2010!

Milking This Trip for Blog Content

I booked a flight for New York for Michelle and myself way back in June. When I originally booked it, it was just the two of us going to visit some friends for a long weekend trip, but it turned out that a lot of our friends had vacation time. They ended up coming out to New York too, and we had a blast. Since I just got back and I’m too tired to post the whole trip, I’ve decided to post a little bit at a time and make it a blog mini series.

Originally Michelle and I were going to stay with Randall. Then Michelle decided to see about getting us a hotel through some work connections. She got us hooked up with a room at The Shoreham Hotel for our entire stay. The place is really nice and is definitely worth checking out if you need a place to stay in the city.

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The chair in the background is a massage chair. Came in handy after long days.

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They even gave us a fruit platter and a complimentary bottle of champagne, which was our first dinner.

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Oh yeah. There were Flaming Hot Cheetos also. Did you know they don’t sell Flaming Hot Cheetos anywhere in Manhattan, maybe in the other boroughs too?

More to come later…