Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chivitos del Faro

 San Isidro is one of Gran Buenos Aires' nicest municipalities, home to a historic downtown plaza, beautiful cathedral and waterfront lined by boat clubs and huge houses with towering walls and conspicuous security cameras. It's the go to spot for the who's who of nautical porteños and water sports lovers. Thus there are also loads of high end boutique restaurants and expensive chains. However, there is also one unassuming sandwich shack that is a must visit destination for food lovers.
In the corner of a small open air plaza, on P. Junta (one of the narrow winding roads leading to the waterfront), marked by a surfboard sign, sits Chivitos del Faro. It's really tiny, with only the kitchen and a take out counter inside, and a handful of tables outside on the sidewalk and wood patio. Though from outside it may look like the thousands of other mediocre sandwich shops scattered throughout Buenos Aires, it's not, at all. The menu is pretty limited in a pizza shop plus Argentine staples kind of way. But let me tell you, it's all you need. The sandwich I ate there, and I'm not kidding nor exaggerating, was one of the best meals I've eaten in Buenos Aires.
Here's the let down: I don't remember the name, while finally getting around to writing this like a month later. So your going to have to pull this page up on your smart phone (if you actually make enough to afford 3G here 'cause I sure don't) and compare ingredients. Or if not, select to your hunger's desire. Either way, it will be worth it!
Per the usual, the menu featured a variety of items on pork overload. So, I tried my luck at adapting a sandwich. And while it didn't go exactly according to plan (rarely can I identify all the pork elements in a meal just from reading the menu) the staff were actually happy to accommodate my freaky extranjera needs (big points for friendly service in Bs.As.!). FYI, the fries don't usually come with bacon, that was part of my accommodations. Two types of pork aside the sandwich was still properly stacked with mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, tomato, red peppers, lomo and cheese plus a side of golden crispy fries.
Suspecting that a shared sandwich might not completely do the trick, I also took my first steps into the world of canastitas. For international readers, these are little bowls made from empanada shells, filled with cheese, meat, veggies and other fillings. They are are so amazing, perhaps better than empanadas dare I say it. It's like a bowl of melted cheese topped to your taste. What more could you ask for? My favorite was with cheese, tomato and basil. Fresh greens on top help to lighten up an otherwise savory snack. Though they are snack size, I also recommend more than one.
One of the best parts of the restaurant can't be expressed in pictures, the laid back attitude of coastal towns. Although it's only a river you can still feel the difference. While sitting on the patio I saw two men on motorcycles actually invite a lone fellow rider to join them for lunch. (That's pretty unheard of here.) Plus, there was the cutest dog ever (Guillermo his name is, I found out while trying to ascertain if he was stray so I could adopt him), who ate from your hand carefully like a perfect little gentledog, as to not deter future offerings.

If you're in San Isidro your lucky enough to be in delivery zone (and probably already love this place). If your in Capital Federal and in need of a relaxing daycation, a day by (or on) the water and lunch at Chivitos del Faro may be just what the doctor ordered.

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