Monday, April 4, 2011

Buenos Aires Cafe - Austin, TX

When you see a sandwich advertised as "The Best Sandwich in Austin" by The Onion, it's really hard to figure out just what youre going to get. Best Sandwich? Worst Sandwich? Best or worst bowl of soup? Or does the restaurant even exist? I decided to put it to the test and hopped over to Buenos Aires Cafe on east 6th to find out.

Restaurant? Check. And a pretty nice one at that in this up and coming area of town. Contemporary, new, and clean on the inside, this place blends new Austin with old, featuring colorful paintings from local artists on the wall with information aboutthe artists. The place is one spacious room with some large flatscreens (though not in positions to view from the bar, and given that they were turned off when I was there I don't know if you can catch a game or if they show anything youd want to watch or if's all soccer, sport fishing and Argentinian soaps), and a full bar with ample Argentinian wines lining the shelves. This seems like a great spot for a business lunch or a casual dinner before hitting the bars.

At 11am I was the only person in the place but I had to eat early to clear room for my dinner at Luby's with the Gerries tonight. Didn't even look at the menu just asked for The Onion's gamechanger.

Sandwich? Check. And a good one at that though I'm not sure it is THE best sandwich in town. It's a beef tenderloin sandwich on a French baguette. The steak is sliced to a thickness of about a quarter to half an inch before cooking and is then grilled to a perfect medium rare, more red than pink. Tender as hell, this thing has a great grilled flavor and tastes of high quality meat. It's topped with tomato, and I opted for no cheese though provolone is an available option, and then finished off with their own fresh chi Michigan (hmm, that's an interesting autocorrect for chimichurri, thank you iPhone). All in all a good sandwich, and though pricey at $12.99, it's filling and provides you with the best, and healthiest, piece of the cow.

What I was really impressed by though was the fries. Slightly larger than Wendy's but smaller than typical steak fries, these things were perfect on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and screamed with flavor leading me to believ these things are deep fried in te same oil as their beef Milanese, infusing it with incredible beef flavor, ala McDonalds of the mid-80s and prior. For straight up potatoes, not dependent on sauce, these very well may be the best in town, and are an understated must when ordering.


Atmosphere: new, modern, sit down restaurant, lock your car, good for groups, good for business lunch, good if you're alone

Food: south American

Dog Friendly: no

When to Go: lunch, dinner

Crowd: me

What to Order for the First Timer: tenderloin sandwich and fries

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