Monday, November 24, 2008

Mini Travel Dish: La Salamandra (Buenos Aires)

This is part of a series of reports recapping my recent trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Check back every Monday and Tuesday when I’ll be giving you a taste of my food adventures in this South American metropolitan city.

Bright, Fresh Spot for Caramel and Cheese
El Salvador 4761, Buenos Aires
Palermo Soho neighborhood
PH: 11/4831.1600

Not all the spring days during my trip to this South American city were filled with sunshine and warm weather. I did get rained on, but luckily on only about three days of my 10-day stay.

Walking around the quiet streets under gloomy overcast skies, it was refreshing to discover little bright spots like the La Salamandra café in the touristy Palermo Soho shopping district.

I walked past this café the day before and it was packed in the afternoon. But on this day I came in for lunch and it was relatively empty, with only a few moms with strollers and men reading newspapers. Still, the bright orange décor and contemporary setting were a welcomed escape from the wet streets.

La Salamandra bills itself as a “dulce de leche and mozzarella bar” — a combination I never really thought of for a cafe. It’s really a reflection of La Salamandra’s owners, an Argentine company of the same name that’s famous for its dairy products, namely cheese and the milk used to create the country’s famous milk caramel, dulce de leche.

The café offers mostly sandwiches and quiches, and a large variety of pastries and petit fours. I settled in and ordered a limonatta (AR$12 or $4.15), a frothy frozen lemonade drink, and the Quichette de espinacas, ricotta, parmesano y mozzarella (AR$28 or $9.75) or Spinach Quiche with Three Cheeses (ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella).

The quiche came as an individual-sized portion with a side salad of mesculan greens, all very light and refreshing in look and feel. The quiche itself had a nice, clean taste to it but I thought the crust was a bit bland. Still, overall it was a simple and delightful lunch.

Sitting on the white leather seats looking out at the trio of potted orange trees outside made me forget about the rainy day. La Salamandra is a relaxing, casual lunch spot perfect for a light meal or maybe some indulging of sweets, whether it’s pastries, desserts or the jars of dulce de leche for sale to take home.

This is a mini review, so no ratings. But I would definitely recommend La Salamandra if you’re shopping around Palermo Soho and want a place to rest your feet and grab a bite.

Bueno … life in BA

What do you think this is? A hot new club? A supply store for dance clubs? It’s the local supermarket. Walking around the neighborhoods, I saw several outlets for this grocery store chain called Disco. It seemed really popular with the area residents who had bagful of groceries heading home after work. I wonder if there’s a mirrored ball inside?


Anonymous said...

The first dulce de leche I ever had was in Mexico City many years ago. I've never tasted any as good as then. Maybe I should go to Argentina next and try theirs! Seriously, you make me want to book a trip there with all these recaps.

Anonymous said...

heehee I like the name of the grocery store, how festive! I wonder how the caramel and cheese are...