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El Obrero, Buenos Aires

April 11th, 2009 · No Comments

CIMG6196 CIMG6192 CIMG6187 CIMG6185 CIMG6182 CIMG6181 CIMG6178 This isn’t a review. This is just a ‘let you know how it is’.

We didn’t go to a restaurant, we went to an institution.

You don’t drive down the long drive into Stanford and rate the landscape architecture. You don’t go to the Salk Institute and critique the buildings. You don’t go to Johns Hopkins and say “they should have done it this way”.

And you don’t go to El Obrero and say anything.

This place is an institution. It’s the working-class café/restaurant in La Boca, now often frequented by the famous stars of the Boca Juniors and probably too many tourists like us, but all the same you just go there, and enjoy yourself. Keep the opinions other than good ones to yourself – nobody cares and they wouldn’t change anything anyway.

This place has been open for years, and judging by the pictures on the walls, anyone who is anyone that you’d actually want to know has at least dropped by here. This is no Café Tortoni – no belle époque architecture here. This place is brick walls, on a street that we shouldn’t have walked down, in a neighborhood that we had no place being in, for a lunch that was one of the best we had while in this beautiful city. The last word that I got from the taxi driver was “cuidado” – caution.

I wish I knew more about the history of this place, but at this point, any I’d provide would just be copied off some Google search. It wouldn’t be authentic and this place deserves nothing but the real thing. I should have found out more about this shrine before I went, but it was recommended by a friend and Porteño with the words in an email, “It’s in Boca so if you are in the area. A lot of the soccer players go here for lunch. It’s awesome”.

She was right.

This place is awesome indeed. Just because this is a blog about food, I’ll mention the food: it’s stick-to-your ribs, tasty food that anyone would enjoy. It is particularly awesome however, for character. If I can provide some examples of other places like this that I’d recommend for their character – in the same class – Il Latini in Florence. Commisso Bros. & Racco Bakery in Toronto. Gino’s East Pizza in Chicago. The Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Kelly’s in Revere, MA. You know them – best in class places. They might be fancy, the might be dirty, they might be expensive or cheap. But when you go there, you know that you’re in a special place – i.e. you’re in an institution. And keep your damn opinions to yourself.

You get the picture.

Look – the service is great, the food will fill your belly and be tasty doing it, and the price will be ridiculously cheap. The wine is just fine, the beer is cold, and the walls are covered in stuff that you should see while you’re in Buenos Aires.

Look at the pictures, and if you’re in town, and you’re lucky, and if you’re careful – cuidado indeed – just go.

El Obrero
Agustin R. Caffarena 64, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel : 54-11-4362-9912

Tags: Argentina · Buenos Aires · Favorites

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