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El Obrero 18/30

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Meat quality
Meat preparation


Augustín R. Caffarena 64
La Boca
Buenos Aires
Tel: 4363-9912

El Obrero (The Worker) is apparently the only place to go in La Boca, a dangerous, working class, Italian neighborhood. It promises a traditional atmosphere that a local reviewer quips is “tourist-approved.” Having pictures of U2’s Bono on the wall from his visit and look of the other clientele suggest it ought to be called El Dueño instead.

The scene was believable enough for me though and soon I was enjoying a lazy three hour meal. I started with a Spanish torilla that involved fries hidden in the middle. Though I’d never had my fries upfront, combined with eggs and refried, it certainly got my potato fix out of the way early. We also started with the grilled aubergines, which were so good we ordered another round for the main course.

The steak looked a little lonely when it finally arrived by itself on a plate, but the taste was exceptional and it was perfectly cooked. The salad was excellent as well, and the 1995 Montchenot gave a nice balance to the meal, though it was definitely not as good as what I had had at Cabaña Las Lilas, suggesting an unevenness in production or storage. But perhaps the stresses of crisis take their toll on wine as well.

After looking at the local soccer team’s memorabilia on the wall for three hours, we were excited to go see the Boca Juniors in action, especially since the last soccer game I went to was Santos versus Cosmos in 1977, with Pelé playing for both sides, his last game. Apparently, Boca Juniors boast the most enthusiastic fans in the world (called, the 12th Jugador) and was ranked first for the season. True to form, they dominated the other side, whose fans were surrounded by police in riot gear. The fans turned out to be the real working class we had expected to see in the restaurant, but it looked like they had been having a lot more fun drinking beer in the street waiting for the game to start.

If you’re in Buenos Aires with time to kill, definitely check out El Obrero, but go during the day, don’t get lost, and skip the Spanish torilla.

Submitted by DO Jr.
October 29, 2005


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