Day 2: Argentina
The City of Las Vegas has been talked about a lot. It’s been called depressing, exciting, debauched and many other things. But I personally can’t think of anything to call it other than “weird”. It’s not an inventive description— just a true one. Las Vegas is a city that has a big swooping hotel that says “Wynn” on top, with a bigger, newer, slightly sleeker version of the same building right next to it, which says “Encore”. Then to trump them both, there’s a massively bigger, newer and sleeker building, which says, well, “Trump.” There’s fake New York, fake Paris, a fake Pirate Ship, fake Clown House and fake boobs, all surrounded by an amazingly vast ocean of desert. If a traveling stranger were to wander through the sands of Nevada, dying of thirst and came upon Las Vegas, I’d like to think they would stare in amazement, assume that the big building which said “Mirage” was accurate and keep on walking. Realistically, they’d probably hock their walking staff, throw all the money on red and start flirting with somebody they didn’t realize was a hooker. But me? I’m looking for a real oasis. Somewhere without super oxygenated air pumping into a world of bright lights with no windows. Somewhere special. Somewhere like Rincon de Buenos Aires.
Unpretentious, casual and standing proudly in the corner of a strip mall which resides at about a ten minute drive from The Strip. Right when you walk into this place you see the big deli displays filled with prepared meats, sandwiches, salads, empanadas and the like. I’m already feeling better. Lucas and Adam are joining me again, but this time, they demand alternate blog names. Adam has decided on “Car Accidents Bernstein” after we saw a large billboard with those exact words on it not once, but twice on our ten minute drive. Lucas is going with “Ultimate Manilow”.
The three of us perused the menu over a fantastic chimichurri (has anyone ever had a bad chimichurri?) and crusty, soft delicious bread. We ordered miga, small crustless sandwiches which are popular light dinners in Argentina, as well as matambre con russa—an Argentinean cold cut version of the Italian braciola, served with a side of potato salad. Some sandwiches were better than others, but the one with marinated hearts of palm and ham made me shake with happiness. The matambre fit into the category of “genuinely tasty food I’m really glad I know about but probably won’t ever be a thing I wake up craving.” The potato salad was more or less inconsequential. Ultimate Manilow and I washed our appetizers down with the ever popular and beautifully paired Quilmes beer. Then the entrée arrived; a sizzling plate of meat that nearly transported me to Argentina all by itself— parillada Argentina. Sausage, black sausage, short ribs, sweetbreads and skirt steak, all giving off that hissing sound that can’t help but make a carnivore grin like a cartoon bad guy.
Unfortunately, when you’re out of town on low budget business in a city that keeps strange hours, meals like this often get cut short. It was time for Ultimate Manilow, Car Accidents Bernstein and me to pay our bill and get back to work in the strange hotel society I’ll never come close to understanding. I would have loved to watch the day dissolve into the wee hours, chomping beef, pizza and pasta and drowning Las Vegas in a flood of Quilmes and red wine. But a short meal is all I’m gonna get—and for now it’ll have to do. I’m just glad it happened at all.
Rincon de Buenos Aires
5300 Spring Mountain Rd # 115, Las Vegas, NV
Food Breakdown: 2 alcoholic beverages, 2 non-alcoholic beverages, 2 appetizers, 1 family style entrée.
Distance From My House: 278 miles