Years ago, a couple hours after arriving on my first trip to Argentina, instead of being whisked away in order to familiarize myself with the famous steak and malbec, I was taken to a simple neighborhood corner cafe that specialized in pizza. “You’re going to try my favorite pizza,” I was told, “this is the pizza of Buenos Aires.” About 30 minutes after washing down peanuts and potato chips with an ice cold liter bottle of Quilmes along with some small talk about how ham was the popular pizza topping of choice in Argentina, our pie arrived. Being a simple pepperoni and mozzarella fan, I desperately tried to hide the horror on my face as I stared upon a circular creation whose crust was hidden by an abundant amount of cheese, ham, hearts of palm, hard-boiled egg, whole un-pitted olives, and roasted red peppers. The pièce de résistance was a drizzling of what I would immediately learn to be, salsa golf–a kind of ketchup-mayo mixture. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect before carving into my slice. The toppings didn’t look disgustingly horrendous, just plain weird. “Everything is artfully laid out, but is this pizza?”, I pondered. (Hey, I was ignorant then on Argentinean cuisine) After curiously nibbling on a few morsels, I thought this isn’t so bad. Odd, but not bad. To this day, after all this time, this type of pizza is not often on my pizza-to-order list, but cravings do arrive on occasion. Maybe it’s the old memories.
Today, while searching the news, I stumbled across a month old restaurant review on the Denver Post titled, “Argentine pie parlor wins new “regular.” I thought it would be a great item to share with any readers out there who might be interested in something of this sort. What makes this piece interesting, well to me at least, is that the author’s experience with Argentinean-style pizza was somewhat close to mine.
“You’ll be skeptical, but the eponymous Buenos Aires pie is worth trying at least once. This impossible combo of mozzarella, ham, hearts of palm, roasted red peppers, chopped hard boiled egg and salsa golf – a common and great-tasting (if gross-sounding) Latin American condiment that combines mayonnaise with tomato sauce or ketchup into a creamy pink-orange spread – works against the odds, piled as it is on rich, yeasty, crispy-edged pizza crust. “
After reading the article and viewing Buenos Aires Pizzeria’s site, I’m adding them to my list of Argentinean restaurants outside of Argentina that attempt to recreate the experience and flavors of this great country–like these guys. Granted, a few items on their menu[PDF file], such as the Cuban sandwich, are out of place, but their pizza menu looks downright fantastic. Heck, even their interior appears to invoke the ambiance of a simple neighborhood Buenos Aires cafe as seen in this photo here.
(If you know of any great Argentinean restaurants outside of Argentina, please let me know)