I went out | Street flavors of the world

falafel temple

From a window they serve what is perhaps the best falafel in Buenos Aires. It comes in a generous pita filled with crispy veggies, pickles, dips, hummus, and those crispy chickpea-based fried meatballs with onion and parsley. This is what Falafelandia is, a place dedicated – you understand from the name – to this Middle Eastern specialty, which in recent years has become fashionable all over the world. It’s cheap, healthy, suitable for various diets (including vegan), and most importantly, it’s delicious.

Falafelandia is the creation of Alex and Sebastián (with other partners who contributed capital and ideas), two friends who met in the Facebook group Buena Morfa, and who together had already created pop-ups and gastronomic events. The idea started in early 2019; In the assembly process the pandemic appeared, times changed, until – starting from 2022 – they decided that “it was now or never”. “Together we rethink the product, the logic of the place and the menu, each with his contribution”, says Alex, chef with 20 years of experience.

The menu is concise: The star is the falafel sandwich ($ 800), they add a falafel salad option ($ 1200), and hummus served with pita bread ($ 850). Nothing more, nothing less. Although the sandwich can be customized (remove some vegetables, choose a sauce rather than another), the recommended one includes all of this: six balls of falafel, nasturtium lettuce, cabbage, red onion, tomato, cucumber, parsley, fried eggplant , cabbage and radishes. Also, hummus and tahini sauce. Finally, the sauces are chosen, which become spicier: the mildest is a harissa based on pepper, tomato and a little chilli pepper; followed by the carafe, with more peppers, plenty of coriander, lemon, spices. And the third has turmeric and powerful canned peppers.

A good Falafelandia idea is that instead of putting a sandwich together in order (first the falafel, then the vegetables, finally the sauces, as many do), they do it in layers, mixing everything – each bite offers the full flavor. Buenos Aires falafel already has its own temple.

Falafelandia is located at Av. Córdoba 5190. Opening hours: Thursdays from 12 to 20; Friday and Saturday from 12 to 21; Sundays from 12 to 16. Instagram: @falafelandia.

respect for tacos

Francisco “Paco” Gómez is Mexican; an industrial designer who arrived in Argentina just over four years ago following in the footsteps of Soledad, his partner. “I’ve always been the madman of tacos. When I arrived in Buenos Aires, I felt that nothing I tried had the real taste of chilango, ”he says.

Taquería Díaz first opened in El patio de los lecheros, in Caballito, but with the (confrontational and controversial) closure of this place during the pandemic, Paco has lost everything he had done up to that point, both in terms of effort than of money. “In those same months my father died and I became depressed. Luckily I was able to get up, ”he says.

The new Taquería Díaz store opened a year ago on Monroe Avenue, near Villa Urquiza, has a back patio and an internal room for about 40 people. Perfect tacos come out of the kitchen, full of Mexican flavor. The house best seller is the suadero ($ 520), a corn tortilla that comes with matambre cooked with citrus, spices, and onion, following her mother’s recipe she learned in her childhood. Next is taco al pastor ($ 380), with pork marinated in achiote; there are also carnitas, campechano and sweet potato, among others. Gringas (wheat tortillas with cheese, pineapple and meat of your choice), mulitas, burritos, and classic nachos with meat, with guacamole or spicy cheddar ($ 1100 / $ 1250) are added, among other Mexican street food. To accompany the sauces are indispensable: it can be the picachido, a red and spicy fermented sauce based on red jalapeños (also other peppers depending on availability, from Cuaresmeño to habaneros); and the green one, a fresh sauce made with peppers, coriander, lime juice and green jalapeño.

The atmosphere in Taquería Díaz (which is usually packed) is always cheerful, as it should be in a place like this. Service is friendly, and the bar sells beers (from $ 270), cocktails ($ 650), and tasty juices. There are usually groups of friends, couples, even entire families. A relaxed trip to Mexico City, in the flavor, color and spirit behind each of these tacos.

Taquería Díaz is located in Monroe 3915. Opening hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday, from 19:00 to 23:30; Sundays from 1pm to 5pm. Instagram: @taqueriadiaz.

The most delicious soup

They call it “noodle broth”, but in the eyes of Westerners ramen is undoubtedly the great Japanese soup, the tastiest and most fashionable in the world today. In Buenos Aires there are several places that have ramen as their protagonist; one of the best is Nen Ramen, run by the young Yoshimi Tabemono. His story about him can be summed up like this: in 2015 and 2017 he traveled to Japan and fell in love with ramen there. Back in Buenos Aires, he learned and worked with Alejandro Aizawa; In a pandemic he offered ramen kits to build at home and a few months ago he made a new leap in quality by joining the fantastic Kuda restaurant. “I collaborated with Edgar Kuda and I occupy his restaurant every Monday,” says Yoshimi.

Although ramen is usually casual street food, Nen Ramen goes above and beyond – it takes advantage of Kuda’s bar and logic to present a full menu where ramen is preceded by several small plates as introductory steps. The full dinner costs $ 2,800 (excluding drinks), and the recent winter menu includes some perfect gyoza, then kakiage (julienned and fried vegetables), plus gamae (a sesame-blanched vegetable salad) and chawanmushi, a sort of of structured soup similar to that of a flan, served with white fish and furikake. Finally, comes a caramelized pumpkin with soy sauce and seasoned tofu (fried tofu stuffed with cheese). Then yes, it’s time for the main dish, ramen. A fantastic tonkotsu ramen, with a very clean and milky broth made from pork bones, flavored with the leftover ferment left over from the homemade soy sauce they make in Kuda. This broth adds homemade alkaline noodles and slices of bondiola cooked with soy, garlic, ginger, sake and mirin; also a dark egg with a creamy yolk, green onion, choi wrap, and burnt onion oil. The result is an addicting, caloric and wintery ramen.

Nen Ramen opens only on Mondays with two fixed shifts as pop ups. The rest of the week you can order soup to take home; It is broken down into its parts, to be heated and assembled on the spot. A new must have in the city.

No.a Ramen is in Paraguay 3521. Opening hours: Monday at 20:00 and 21:45 (by reservation only); take away from Tuesday to Saturday from 19:00 to 22:30 on Paraguay 3510. WhatsApp: 11-6730-6532. Instagram: @ nen.ramen.