Buenos Aires Cafe
We've eaten now a few times at Buenos Aires (on the southeast corner of Waller and 6th), and it has everything one expects from a truly fine restaurant. That includes great food, wine and professional service the likes of which haven't been seen on the East Side since the advent of the "East Side Cafe" way up on Manor Road. But that's comparing apples to oranges. The decor is sleek and unpretentious, and the wait staff is friendly, seems well informed about the food and wine, and actually makes one feel safe about taking their suggestions. Thanks Brandon!
We started with a bottle of Uma, a red wine in the "School of Shiraz" which more than made the grade. Quite easy to drink, it was the perfect foil to our appetizer empanadas called "Tipicas Argentinas" on the menu. The "Pollo" empanadas with their mix of chicken, red bell peppers and other herbs were delightful. The "Carne Suave" and "Carne Picante" included ground beef, green onions, raisins, green olives and other savory spices. My companion pronounced them "GREAT".
The entree's include everything from an Argentinean "Shepherd's Pie" to my current favorite, the roasted Pork Tenderloin medallions served with chimichurri sauce. A "Gnocchi Quartet" looked tempting with flavors like pumpkin-cinnamon, sweet potato-chipotle and cilantro-jalapeno. Tossed with roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and fresh parmesan, it's definitely one of the next things I plan to sample.
The food is terrific and so is the staff. That being said, I can't think of ANY dessert menu in town that delights me more. From "Quatro Leches Cake" to "Flan de Buenos Aires", they may have found a new convert in someone who has never cared much for either. The "Dark and White Chocolate Berry Tart" looks as good as it tastes, and the "Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake" with a special "mousse de jour" each day is a knockout. Still, my favorites are the "Dark and Spicy Chocolate Creme Brulee" which has touches of cayenne pepper (not enough to burn, but certainly enough to excite) and the "Pionono" (a definite Pio-yes-yes!). The Pionono is cake soaked with Kahlua and coffee and rolled with fresh strawberries, dulce de leche and fresh whipped cream. Next time, I may order the Pionono as my appetizer, entree AND dessert. Of course, that won't do. Everything here is too good to pass up, so be adventurous!