The first thing people usually think about when talking about Argentina other than soccer, wine, tango, Evita and economic crisis is the beef. Argentine beef is supposed to be among the best in the world, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. However, as impressive as it may be, these bovine delicacies may not be served up in the way you imagined.
I have a theory: good beef is good beef. I know, it’s pretty groundbreaking. Let me explain. No matter where you go in the world, if you order the best steak at the best restaurant, it’s going to be good. The best steak in Argentina is a very good steak, as are the best steaks from the United States, China, Brazil or even France. However, to truly judge the quality of a country’s cow-flesh, you must dig a little deeper. In my opinion, the best way to test the quality of a region’s beef, you must find the worst steak, the lowest form of steak, try it, and see if you come out alive.
This brings me to the Chorimobile . The Chorimobile is a portable cart where you can find a number of different meat and sausage sandwiches at very, very low prices. Friendly chefs trade small talk while grilling your meal right in front of you, and the aromas coming of the parilla have similar effects to smelling your mother’s chicken soup. They are most popular at heavily trafficked areas, like Plaza de Mayo, Retiro train station and Plaza Italia in Palermo. Within a culture that is too tranquilo to take a cup of coffee to-go, these street-side eateries have remained a fast food staple for both tourists and locals alike.
The best place to go for a full Chorimobile experience is the paved walkway right outside of the Ecological Reserve, just blocks away from Microcentro and Puerto Madero. Here you will find a chorizo -enthusiast’s heaven: dozens of Chorimobiles all in a row like a delicious parade that never seems to end. This is a very popular area during lunchtime and on the weekends, and has the added bonus of ample space to sit in the sun or shade. Coming from Avenida Córdoba, the first cart you’ll see harbors a boldly painted message: Fueron, Son y Serán. This sign proclaims that this authentic institution was, is and always will be a part of Argentine culture. (Ok, so maybe the sign is talking about the Malvinas Islands, but you get the point)
So now that you know where to find them, you still need to know what to do. Picking the right Chorimobile is a lot like finding your favorite cigar or bottle of wine. You have to go by trial and error. It’s usually a safe bet to choose one of the more crowded ones. You may have to wait longer, but at least you know that other people are eating the same meat and living to talk about it. Note that Chorimobiles are not for the faint at heart. Everything is outside and chefs are often gloveless. Germaphobes, just sit this one out.