Panchos, Chorizo, and Choripans
The first international post! I recently went to Argentina for my summer vacation. It’s legendary for its beef, delicious steaks, and sweet sweet dulce de leche. So of course I found a hot dog stand and had to try it!
Most places seemed to refer to hot dogs as ‘panchos.’ I don’t know if that’s the official term there, but that’s what I ordered at different places. Pancho Hot was located in the Recoleta section of Buenos Aires. I was very intrigued when I saw the menu for various salsas.
I didn’t really know what most of the ingredients were so I just ordered two panchos with 2 salsas. I watched as the guy took two steamed dogs and slather them with multicolored mayonnaises.
So what I basically got were two long steamed dogs on dry buns slathered with strange tasting sauces with a mayo-like consistency. I ate one, took a bite of the other then threw it away. But hey, I only paid about $3.
I also found another place called Peter’s Hot Dogs in a neighborhood called Palermo Soho. I didn’t go in but thought I’d get a photo.
Fortunately, my encased meat search greatly improved. My next stop after Buenos Aires was a town 1000 miles southwest of BA called San Carlos De Bariloche, where I would ski for the next 5 days at Cerro Catedral.
I stayed at a cool hostel for a couple of days and met a guy named Javier, who was from Buenos Aires but had travelled to Bariloche to learn how to ski. During one day of skiing, we took a break to get some lunch. He ordered something called a ‘choripan’ which I later figured literally translates as ‘sausage bread,’ but is basically a sausage sandwich.
I ordered a pancho with ketchup and mustard. Thankfully, it appeared to be grilled and had a nice snap to it. The guy at the counter was so friendly, and surprise surprise, could tell by my accent that castellano (spanish) was not my first language. When I got the pancho, it looked hilariously oversized in a short bun, and definitely had a nice smile.
My final food adventure was dinner at a restaurant in Bariloche called El Boliche de Alberto. There are many restaurants in Argentina which say “Parrilla” out front. This translates to grill, steak house, grillroom, etc. I didn’t know which restaurant to go to but Javier said he knew this place to be where we wanted to go. Well, the first good sign was the cowhide menu.
But then I noticed the grill station in the middle of the restaurant. At this point, the heavens parted and I could swear I heard angels singing.
Everything looked and smelled great. I spied a big platter of sausage and blood sausage.
We hadn’t even gotten a table yet but I felt like I couldn’t control myself. We finally got to our table, ordered a bottle of wine; Javier ordered lamb chops and I got a half order porterhouse and a chorizo. Chorizo translates to sausage, but isn’t the type of Spanish spiced sausage. I did not order the blood sausage and am regretting it now.
It was beautifully grilled with perfect flavor. The great mixture of char and meat, without being too strongly spiced. I should have gotten more than one, but I wanted to leave room for the steak! Half porterhouse with papas and the ‘so delicious I could drink it by itself’ chimichurri.
I’m salivating while looking at this picture. Everything on this plate was incredible. The steak had great grill marks, was juicy and full of flavor, and was made even more delicious with that tangy chimichurri. That stuff is great on anything. The trip was incredible and I was fortunate to find some great food. I prefer good ole’ U.S. of A. hot dogs, but Argentina is the clear winner of amazing steaks.