It’s me and the Jeffersons, and we’re MOVIN’ ON UP.
As soon as Jon joined me in Mendoza, I checked out of the terrible hostel and into an *in-cred-i-ble* little boutique hotel down the street.
Was only great in comparison, because the water was hot and the room was all mine? I really want to say no. It was adorable – luxurious without being stuffy, posh without being snooty. Comfortable, familiar, and full of kind & helpful people.
So jon gets here, and it’s time to eat.
Now that I’ve “figured out” the city, I was really excited to show Jon all of my favorites. We have to start at the beginning, at the wine bar that I went so often I ended up staying until closing more times than I’d like to admit, and making friends with the bartender.
There’s very little I can say about “Vines” that hasn’t already been written by better bloggers than me. They have 50 local bottles available by the glass, tasting flights, wine-makers nights, and a staff that is both incredibly knowledgable and friendlier than you’ll find anywhere else in the city. When you’ve come for the Argentine wine culture, it’s the first place you go when you get off the plane.
This led to meeting Agostina, and adorable chef that recommended two things for me to do:
- a “beer fest” and
- a band from Buenos Aires that she was going to go see
Immediately I text jon (He’s still in Seattle at this point) and tell him about my awesome finds.
First, the “beer fest”? Not a beer fest. Though maybe you could have guessed that by my use of quotation marks. It *was* an adventure to walk through the seedy parts of town at night and find a park where … wait for it… a Celtic Music Festival was happening!!!!!
To be fair, there was a brewery there that we hadn’t yet tried, and their beers were pretty good. Chalk it up to a cultural experience, yes?
Agostina nailed it on the next one though. First, she directed me to a indie record store across town where I could (if they weren’t sold out yet) buy two tickets. Check and check! (Thanks high school Spanish classes!)
(That’s right, it’s a rockería. of course.)
Later that week, Jon and I met her at the show and watched her favorite band play.
The space was intimate and we really liked them! Afterwards she bought us a CD to remember them by, and we all went out for a drink. Adorable lady, that Agostina.
Despite all the duds that I had chewed through in the first few days, I left Mendoza as a foodie convert. I even started recommending places to people that had just arrived (Uh, Sorry jon. Turns out I *am* in fact my mother and I incessantly talk to strangers. Whatever.)
First there was Maria, which I’ve already told you about. Then I met Azafran. Then we finally made it to Anna Bistro, and I’m so glad we did.
Because oh Anna, you’re such a lovely doll.
I’m not sure if I love most your adorable gardens, or your bilingual menus, or food, or your wine list, or the fact that you’re not closed at ridiculous hours. But I’m pretty happy we got to know each other.
(I notice two things about this photo: 1. why am I never wearing shoes? and 2. Who let me out of the house wearing such a low-cut dress?)
Ashley had asked me about what the “argentine food thing” was, and at first I told her about the Asados (remember the meat-a-palooza from Zuccardi?), but the more I eat here, I think it’s the empanada (on the right below). They are everywhere, and they’re really good!
Sometimes we’ll just stop in to a place for some air conditioning, a beer, and an empanada. I’ll have to learn how to make those when I get home!
I went to this next restaurant twice – the first time I was unimpressed and relayed the story to a local who insisted that I try again.
So glad we did. The service was great (disproving my earlier theory that everyone in the Mendoza service industry is terrible), the food was inventive (I’ve been trying to abstain from taking actual FOOD photos this vacation so you’ll just have to trust me on that one), and I really love restaurants in converted old houses. They are always so charming.
The next few posts we’ll be in Tupungato in the super awesome middle-of-nowhere hotel I found. The suspense is killing me.
Will michelle go crazy being out of the city for so long?
Will there be any restaurants for them to eat at in the country?
What happens if she can’t remember how to drive stick shift!?
Why doesn’t anything in the Uco Valley have addresses?! Will they get irreparably lost?
Right. Well… I’m so disgusted by what I titled this post, I think I have to go and finish my wine in private. Ch-Chao!