John and I went to this adorable restaurant for lunch yesterday. Caseros is on Avenida Caseros which is really the last street in San Telmo before the neighborhood becomes Barracas. We’d passed this place a week ago on our way to the fish market in Barracas.
One way I judge whether or not to recommend a restaurant on our blog is to decide if I’d take people who are just visiting for a week to that restaurant. In the case of Caseros, I definitely would. It’s on my list now. And for more reasons than just the food (which was great).
Off the Main Drag
The walk over there is gorgeous. It takes you out of the main drag of San Telmo into the outskirts. The architecture and vibe on this side of the neighborhood is really cool. It’s more quiet. The buildings are elegant. Avenida Caseros has a green boulevard running down it, it winds around a corner and ends right at Parque Lezama on Defensa. Avenida Caseros, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful streets in the city. Every where you look you want to stop and take it in.
The restaurant, too, is pretty. It’s really pretty and calming and so dang San Francisco. Now that wouldn’t matter if the food wasn’t good. It was better than good.
The bread was amazing. Most restaurants in Buenos Aires serve the exact same bread. It’s white, tasteless, and just boring. Caseros makes its own bread. I even asked them if it’s possible to call and order a loaf or two to take away. They said yes. They served two types of bread, wheat and white. Both had the perfect texture. I could have gone there just for the bread really. In fact, when I go back, I’ll order something that I can dip the bread in, that’s how good the bread was.
Great Price for the Lunch Menu
The lunch menu (menu ejecutivo) is a great price and was really nice. For 36 pesos you get a salad and your choice of chicken or beef for the entree, and a coffee at the end. John got the lunch menu, I ordered pasta. We shared it all, of course.
I loved John’s salad. The dressing had a sort of oriental flavor, which is wonderful since most salads here are dressed with olive oil and lemon (which I also love but every once in a while you need something different). Big leaves of spinach with thinly sliced carrots and zucchini were topped with slightly charred chives. Delicious.
For the entree, John ordered the beef. Looking around the restaurant, almost everyone had the lunch menu and chose beef over chicken. The cut was colito de cuadril (which is called tri-tip in English) and it was grilled with quartered onions caramelized beautifully, thickly halved mushrooms slightly grilled, and cubed potatoes.
Menu Showed Variety and Attention to Ingredients
I ordered a plate of pasta, agnolottis (similar to tortellini) stuffed with pumpkin, served with a butter, sage sauce with bits of sun-dried tomato and thin slices of prosciutto on top. We both loved my pasta.
There were plenty of other things I wanted to try on the menu. I was excited about the appetizers, which included two of my favorites, ceviche, for 19 pesos, and mollejas, sweetbreads, for 21 pesos. I’ll go back just to try those two dishes. The menu isn’t huge. There are six appetizers and nine entrees. In my mind, this is a sign of a restaurant that pays attention to the quality of their ingredients. A concise, varied, and original menu usually means the kitchen staff knows what it’s doing.
I also loved that there were two fish entrees: one was the fish of the day served with sauteed vegetables and the other was a grilled steak of salmon served with garlic potatoes and a cucumber and celery salad. There were two pasta choices and several meat options including pork, rabbit, steak and lamb. Great variety on such a small menu.
Delicious Lemonade and Iced Tea
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the drinks. We didn’t order wine, although they had a very nice wine list with reasonable prices. Instead, I got fresh lemonade which came with mint and John ordered iced tea. It was like an iced tea slush than tea poured over ice, but it was great. It’s really nice to have some drink options other than water, wine, beer or soda.
And since it was lunch and we had to go back to work, we both ordered a cortado (small coffee with a dash of milk). It was one of the best cortados I’ve had in the city. Look at that foamy top and the little square of chocolate cookie with a touch of dulce de leche on the inside. I love how they serve coffee here in Argentina. Such elegance.
Food: Very Good ****
Ambiance: Beautiful *****
Service: Excellent *****
Price: Moderate (36 pesos for the lunch menu)
Barrio: San Telmo
Address: Avenida Caseros, 486
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, lunch and dinner
Payment Methods: Visa or Mastercard and cash