12/15/09

BUENOS AIRES - El Obrero Restaurant



After reading in a New York Times restaurant review that El Obrero (The Worker) Restaurant in the La Boca district of Buenos Aires, had "some of the best food in Buenos Aires", I decided it was time to grab a friend and visit the place - El Obrero - Reviews and Ratings of Restaurants in Buenos Aires - New York Times Travel

After checking with the hotel's concierge, my friend Mark Firnhaber (iadsw) and I, decided to go to El Obrero for lunch. We were warned by the concierge not to walk around that "shady area" of La Boca and to make sure to take a taxi there and back. Too bad, we had to scrap our plan to walk after lunch, to the touristy Caminito Area of La Boca, just 15 blocks away.

In case you didn't know, El Obrero belongs to the Bodegon category of restaurants in Buenos Aires. Neighborhood cafes or Social Clubs where the food served is abundant, cheap, non trendy, home made and of Italian or Spanish origins. El Obrero is owned by two Spanish brothers, so the food in this establishment, has a Spanish twist.

Bodegones started in Buenos Aires as "bodegas" or small neighborhood markets. Once they began to sell prepared foods to their customers, they expanded to include seating areas to accommodate their growing needs.

Getting back to El Obrero, the restaurant will not impress you from the outside. It actually looks ragged and run down, a bit suspect. Don't turn around and leave in your taxi. Just go inside because the interior, I promise, is a different world. The place is lively, warm and inviting, filled with soccer memorabilia and crowded with a mix of regulars and curious tourists like us. It's also very clean and the servers are friendly and eager to please.

El Obrero specializes in "parrilla" - grilled food and Spanish dishes. On the recommendation of a local who claimed to eat there every day, we ordered a Spanish Omelet made with potatoes and spicy salami as an appetizer plus a salad and a steak to share.

The Spanish Omelet was delicious, the salad fresh and large enough for two, and the steak huge, but not a great cut. We both agreed we had better meat in other Buenos Aires restaurants.

However, although the meat we received was a disappointment, we loved the neighborhood atmosphere of the place and the friendly service and price!!! Our meal was less than $12 dollars each with drinks and bread included.

El Obrero is a must visit to experience the "old Buenos Aires". Go for lunch with a friend and take a taxi like we did and enjoy a real "working man's" or Obrero's lunch.

ps- bring cash, no credit cards accepted

El Obrero
Restaurant Parrilla
by the Castro Brothers (Marcelino & Francisco)
Agustin R. Caffarena 64
Republica de La Boca
Buenos Aires, Argentina
(closed on Sundays)
4362-9912

1 comments:

Summer said...

Food in Argentina is the best. I must tell you that one of the reasons I decided to visit the country was because of the kind of steak they have. Beef, and all types of meat. It is amazing, how come they are not all fat! I would be eating all day if I lived there.
Anyways, the thing is that people are passionate about food as well as about soccer. If you go to La Boca, as you did, everybody there cheers for Boca Juniors and they might kill you if you just utter the word "River".
Last year I was looking to rent apartments buenos aires in the neighborhood of La Boca because I knew that is was the best in terms of soccer and tango.
I had the nicest time!
Summer

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