Saturday, June 23, 2012

Taste! 2012

Insanely delicious? Deliciously insane? I can't decided which word order more accurately describes last night's event better. The vast majority of the food was phenomenal, the tables were cute and festive and the venue was beautiful, but the hungry mob was disastrous.
There were literally hundreds of people crowded outside the door of the Buenos Aires Design auditorium more than half an hour before doors opened. When the doors did open it was cutthroat trying to get inside, and at one point organizers actually closed the doors so that the people already inside could register before more people tried to push through.
The idea of the event was flawless; they prepared little comment books to record your impressions of the food, distributed pens so you could fill them out and created little ticket books to exchange with the vendors for samples. But with the mayhem inside, that all went to shit. People were pushing from all directions to get their paws on the food and there was no free space to stand and eat when you did get your hands on some grub. However, all this chaos didn't deter anyone including me, so the tasting went on.
WARNING: There was no time for talking to the providers, so I don't have ingredient details on the dishes beyond delicious or not so delicious.
Due to said chaos, I wasn't able to try everything, but nearly everything that I did eat was superb. I forged my way to two Peruvian restaurants, both of which were delicious. I think Peruvian is my new food fetish.
The first restaurant we ate from was Nazca, and it set the bar high. As you can see from the photo, it had an impressive spread including several dishes and dessert shots. Nazca was so generous that with one ticket you could taste as much as you liked from their offerings of seasoned rice, potatoes, marinated chicken, chicken in spiced sauce and some type of awesome roll with chicken salad inside. They also had delicious sauces, and little dessert shots of caramely-goodness topped with whipped cream. I was in mow down mode so I didn't get to savor as much as I would have liked, but I'll be heading to Nazca ASAP.
The other Peruvian restaurant was perudeli, and if that 3 foot llama didn't draw you in than the big pot of delicious should have. This must be the quintessential Peruvian dish (or maybe just easy to transport) because it was offered at both of these stands. Aji de gallina is strips to shreds of chicken in a pepper cream sauce served with rice and greens for garnish. It is flavorful, rich and warm, and not too spicy for the pussy Argie palate.
Anyone who knows me me knows I'm a sucker for addict of sweets. Anyone who knew me when I was a kid also knows I have a thing for miniature stuff. So naturally blueberry pies topped with heart shaped crusts were like a custom godsend. When they did not disappoint, I was sure it was divine intervention (Just look at the heavenly glow in the photo!). These tiny blueberry tarts from KP Pastelera were incredible, with a flaky crust and sweet but still fruit-tasting filling. I had seconds, and literally went for thirds but they were already out! (I think it was the first table to sell out.) KP, is a North American pastry chef who has blessed Buenos Aires with her presence; her website is a food blog, recipe book and online order portal.
Even the places that I wasn't crazy about were all good enough to make me give them a second chance. After all, preparing food without a kitchen while pushy throngs wait in anticipation ain't easy. There was a deep dish pizza place called Roman's that has BBQ chicken pizza! But, I got a corner piece so I couldn't evaluate it to much. Atlanta Wing Company had good sauces but served cold wings, boo! And Top It frozen yogurt had a great set up with tons of toppings, but the yogurt was melting and seemed watery not creamy. I'll keep you posted on redemption reviews

1 comment:

  1. It's so interesting reading about the Taste event from a tasters point of view! Personally, I was overwhelmed when the masses of people rushed at my table. And a bit saddened that I couldn't talk to was more like "Here, take my pie and please don't hurt me!" ;)

    But, I'm glad that the people who did get to try the pies, liked them. Hopefully next year will be better!