Go for the Freddo Ice Cream and Stay Away from Hard Rock

Jackie Steves is guest-hosting her Dad’s blog with 17 posts in 17 days. Follow the adventures of Andy and Jackie Steves as they — the first Steves to venture into South America — report on their experience.

For dinner we got in the Argentinean carnivorous spirit and joined in the barbecue our hostel served. Sausage, ribs, steak galore. And beer. After that heart attack of a meal I thought it would be appropriate for me to go start a brawl or something.

We met a USC alum, Nicole, at our hostel and signed up to go on a pub crawl together. Dozens of 20-somethings came from all kinds of backgrounds — German, Brazilian, Australian, Chilean, French, etc. — but all shared one common goal: Get drunk and flirt up a silly storm with each other.

At one point we boarded a bus to transfer between bars that were beyond walking distance. Various groups of nationalities broke out in bold, proud, national song. It seems the Brazilians and Argentineans have a passionate national rivalry.

Determined not to be fazed by a hangover the next morning, we hopped the metro out to Recoleta. Clearly we weren’t thinking intelligently when we chose to settle on Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. My family used to avoid these silly tourist destinations like the plague when we were younger, so this was probably the first time I have ever been to one. Perhaps there was a miscommunication during the translation of the menu because I could have sworn the veggie burger I ordered was made out of bird feed, not veggies. Their service was terrible too. It was so odd to observe people taking pictures of Beatles paraphernalia on the wall. Why would you do that in Buenos Aires, or any other city for that matter? So that’s why our parents never let us go to Hard Rock when we were traveling in Europe years back. You may just have an innocent craving for a good-old familiar hamburger, but I wouldn’t recommend it!

We visited a contemporary art museum. If you put modern art from, for instance, MOMA in NYC, next to modern art from Buenos Aires, I wouldn’t be able to tell much difference. I guess it’s cool that art movements have become so global they are like a rising tide that lifts almost all boats along.

We also visited Buenos Aires Design Center, which disappointed Andy for being more interior design rather than the kind he studied at uni (that’s what I’m calling college from now on because I get a kick out of the Brits I’ve met at hostels who say it).

It was time we finally tasted Freddo, a celebrated Argentinean ice cream chain here, about which we’ve heard so much. It was like creamy gelato, or rather a hybrid between Italian gelato and American ice cream. Yum! And they serve it in the most perfect little round balls.