We flew into Ezeiza early Tuesday morning and took the Tienda Leon shuttle into the centro, where we were then taken to the apartment we've rented for the week. We weren't scheduled to meet the landlord for another two and a half hours, so we planted ourselves at the corner cafe and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of café con leche and medialunas. This Argentine classic has already become a favorite of Pat's.
Later that evening, we set out to get a drink and explore San Telmo, the neighborhood where we are staying. Time Out recommended Bar El Federal as a historic porteño hang out. I was dubious as to how authentic it would be, but since it's only a couple blocks away we figured we'd give it a shot. We sat at the bar, although we should have snagged a table outside when we arrived early. It quickly filled up with natives and tourists alike. First we ordered a bottle of Etchart Privado Torrontes, which used to be a favorite. I visited their winery in Cafayate, Salta when I was in Argentina in 2001. I found it to be a bit too sweet for me now, but by the time we finished the bottle we decided that we liked the place and would stay for another. This time a bottle of red, Lopez from 2007. It was a wonderful compliment to the mini picada we ordered: three cheeses (roquefort, goat y de campo), salame de campo, liverwurst and green olives stuffed with walnuts.It was hearty but smooth, a great example of what I love in a Malbec. We didn't think we were that hungry, but after watching the bar man prepare them with such pride I couldn't help myself.
Mini picada: Three cheeses (roquefort, goat y queso de campo),
salame de campo, liverwurst and green olives stuffed with walnuts