The Hungry Engineer

Argentina in Austin

Buenos Aires Cafe

09 Feb 2008

Buenos Aires Cafe is an Argentinean-style cafe that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Its unassuming storefront does little to reveal the quality of food that lies within.

We’ve eaten at Buenos Aires Cafe several times in the past year or so, with somewhat inconsistent results. However, on this fine Saturday evening, they were absolutely on top of their game. The service was a little slow but always attentive (and it’s not like we were in a hurry anyway). We sat outside on the front deck, and with the heater going, it was actually quite pleasant.

I naturally had to have at least one empanada, so I ordered the Pollo Empanada with some chimichurri sauce on the side. It was perfect. The crust was flaky and golden, and the interior was pleasantly chewy. The flavor of the pollo filling, while delicious on its own, simply came alive with the addition of the chimichurri sauce.

While I’m guessing that gnocchi is not typically Argentinean, after hearing what the ‘gnocchi of the day’ consisted of, I decided to go for it. A quartet of gnocchi flavors were tossed with a fresh and fantastic combination of vegetables, including artichoke hearts and haricots verts. The gnocchi flavors were: sweet potato and chipotle, pumpkin and cinnamon, jalapeno and cilantro, and plain potato. The texture was fantastic and I was pleased to find that each of the flavors was individually recognizable in the dish. My favorite was the jalapeno cilantro with the pumpkin cinnamon a close runner up.

Ordinarily I am not a dessert eater, but on hearing the dessert special for the evening, I had no choice but to try it out. It was a chocolate and pasilla pepper crème brulee. The initial taste revealed crackly bruleed sugar and not-too-sweet chocolate custard. As I was swallowing the first bite, the mild roasted heat arrived. The chocolate-chili combination in subsequent bites was bliss. This was by far the best execution of a chili and chocolate pairing I’ve had the pleasure to experience to date.

I left the restaurant feeling that I had certainly gotten my money’s worth and that I was happy to live in a city where I could find such interesting flavors.

Buenos Aires Cafe on Urbanspoon

» Comments

  1. ss2003 says

    I came across the Cincinnati Chili mix recently also, at Central Market, in Southlake, TX. I was shopping for something that would be quick and easy to make – something a kid could learn to do easily, too. The chili was very good, although in Texas, we’re use to spicy Tabasco type chili, and this was very sweet tasting (resembling baked beans). I used some BBQ sauce I had in the pantry - KC Masterpiece Original (which already had a little brown sugar in it). I started out using only ½ the brown sugar the recipe called for, but when I added the chocolate, it tasted like it needed more sugar, so I added in the rest. Surprisingly, if the recipe includes barbeque sauce in the nutritional information, there’s only 12 carbs per serving – which is wonderful. I hope that measurement is correct. The chili was delicious just as the recipe was made exactly by instructions; however, I added an extra can of diced tomatoes, and a can of black beans for more veggie options. I enjoyed the chili, but wondered what a dash or two of Tabasco sauce would have done to it.

    Fri Sep 19 2008 13:31:35 GMT-0500 (CDT)

  2. April says

    I’m with you on the nutritional information - I was amazed at how relatively good the chili is for you. We’ve tried several other of the Homemade in Minutes soup mixes, and this chili is still our reigning favorite.

    And Tabasco sauce makes everything taste better! I really enjoyed the creamy, meaty, slightly sweet flavor of the chili, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t have been improved with a coupla dashes of hot sauce :-)

    Sat Sep 20 2008 09:26:16 GMT-0500 (CDT)

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