Wish You Had Seen This
Nightlife is a huge aspect of Buenos Aires culture, where people can be found dining well past 10 p.m. and dancing until the sun comes up. And that was going to be the story, it was the story and its what we shot. But you didn’t see it. What can I say, write your congressman. But here is how it went down.
I went to Café Violeta and was stunned to meet Cecilia, the gorgeous and “muy sensuale” tango dancer who showed me how to eat some little cookies. You saw that part. But you didn’t see the small pails of dulce de leche that come to each table for scooping and serving and inhaling. The stuff is amazing and its reason enough to head to BA at the first opportunity.
We then headed to a chori-pan stall down by the river to chow on grilled meat sandwiches. You saw that part too.
But the best part of the night was when Cecilia and I stopped at El Obrero in the Boca neighborhood for some authentic Argentine rinones (kidneys), roasted fish and lengua a la vinagreta (cow tongue vinaigrette). With something like 8,000 quadrillion cows in Argentina, the locals long ago came up with some truly wonderful and different ways to eat the animal. One of the methods included cooking the tongue (good idea fellas!) and as the centuries flew by the African and European influences helped fashion a sophisticated and intensely wonderful way of cooking meat … grilling, saucing simply with table salsas and plonking a lemon on each plate, the Argentine casual restaurant style of eating meat, or anything else for that matter is easygoing and without pretense. At Obrero, one of the most comfortable and delightful restaurants anywhere in the world, we sat in a crowded room at 11pm, families celebrating birthdays sitting cheek to jowl with movie stars, Goth hipsters, TV crews (us), tango dancers (Cecilia) and a smattering of savvy travelers. Cecilia and I sat there for a few hours eating and waiting out some tech difficulties and she convinced me that our tango stop should be something to be savored and enjoyed, not dreaded.
What can I say, I was nervous. First off, I am a lousy dancer and I didn’t want to embarrass myself (see our Cuba show). Second I am happily married and the idea of locking up toe to nose with Cecilia was something that I ironically was both looking to avoid and eagerly anticipating. So we ended up leaving Obrero, a phenomenal restaurant that you have to try, and headed over to a neighborhood tango club. Well Cecilia and I stroll in and we take a loop around the floor, you have to dance in the same direction as your club-mates it turns out … tango dancing is etiquette heavy … and I ask her how I did? You saw most of that. What you didn’t see was her telling me “not so good” and me saying “what can I do?”
Well she tells me “look me een the eye and rest your cheek against mine. Greep me from head to doe and walk me, I weel follow you.” And with that she ruffled her skirt to the side, pulled me into her so that I was enveloped by her powerfully erotic tango mojo and proceeded to dance with me around the room until what seemed like hours (but was in fact about 5 minutes). Hours later I ran screaming for the van and begged to go back to the hotel. My tango career in a shambles, Cecilia left at the altar so to speak and one of the great untold Bizarre Foods stories lying in a heap on the cutting room floor.
I am writing this on the way to Italy after shooting shows in Pennsylvania, Syria, Chicago and Greece. The next season starts in October and trust me, an oversight like the one that prevented you from seeing the best story we ever shot will never happen again … not on my watch.