If there is something that has truly developed in the city, it is the downtown venues where we can enjoy all kinds of traditional or avant-garde dishes, both during the day and in the evenings.
When it comes to restaurants and sites where tribute is paid to culinary art, the City of Mendoza offers several circuits bearing their onw features. It is also true that personal taste varies and there is no exact opinion as far as empanadas, grilled meat and homemade pasta are concerned.
Two of the traditional gastronomic poles are Sarmiento Avenue and Belgrano Street, in the very center of the city. This area is surrounded by hotels and tourists become identified with the cuisine of Mendoza, based on plentiful servings of homemade food. They like to eat quietly without any shows or loud music.
There is another very popular space among the denizens of Mendoza who know where the best lomito completo is prepared, namely: Paseo La Alameda. Some pizza restaurants, breweries, fast food restaurants and the like are never reached by tourists. Remedios de Escalada Street is turned into a pedestrian promenade which offers some specialty and good street shows. It is a Bohemian area, usually compared to the little square in the neighborhood of San Telmo, in the City of Buenos Aires.
A trend to enjoy a good table
To eat quietly without any shows or loud music.
Excellent gastronomic proposals
But the big protagonist of this zone is "la Arístides", as it is usually referred to, even though its surname is Villanueva. Although it is aimed at the youth, it is known by everyone. Tasty dishes and long chats after a meal are guaranteed at this venue. Paraphitecus stands out among the rest for its “disco” design. It features a space to enjoy international food with good music and after 1am, dancing and drinks take over.
While in Arístides, we had dinner at El Palenque following the recommendation made by some friends. This is a typical restaurant reminiscent of the old pulperías. We chose a table on the sidewalk. Dishes are named with countryside terms and a complete menu can satisfy all tastes. Exquisite empanadas and entraña, both cooked in the masonry oven, indulged us. The dessert was also scrumptious. El Patio de Jesús is a classic when it comes to grilled meat. As we waited, we were served homemade ham, green olives in olive oil and pickled eggplant. The sandwiches made at La Lucila or La Carmela turn out to be more informal but as tasty and filling.
Whoever dares to choose a site that lies farther away has the option to reach Chacras de Coria, where cuisine reaches a very high level. The best known places lie on Viamonte and Mitre Streets and some wineries open their doors to good gourmet customers, such as Clos de Chacras. Inside its coquettish dining-room, delicious dishes are accompanied by premium wine tasting sessions.
But the list goes on in the city and it may never end. It is important to ask about a good charquican or locro. There will always be someone who gives us some advice about them. Fortunately for the locals and also for tourists, excellent gastronomic proposals are constantly being incorporated to the menus.
Mónica Pons Eduardo Epifanio
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