Similar to a cross between underground supper clubs and dining in your moms kitchen, Puerta Cerradas have been popping up all over Buenos Aires since 2001. After the crash of the economy it was a little too dicey for chefs to invest so much money into buying a space to run a full blow restaurant. Instead they turned to serving private dinners in their own homes. They set up intimate makeshift eateries in their living and dining rooms and open their homes to friends and strangers alike to come and enjoy a set course meal.
There’s nothing that can compare to having a home-cooked meal prepared by a professional chef. With the Puerta Cerradas, which literally translates to ‘closed doors’, chefs from all over the world are now able to showcase their talents and cooking ability on a small scale. Demand has been increasing tremendously and due to limited seating they’re held in high esteem. You get to skip the tourist-crowded tables with many times overpriced menus and you get to eat what foodies like. The menus change weekly, sometimes even daily and it’s all based on what’s fresh, in season and what they chef is in the mood to make.
Another draw to Puerta Cerradas is that you can find food that typical restaurants here in Buenos Aires don’t normally offer. It’s an excellent opportunity to get away from all the red meat, empanadas, potatoes and bread that Argentinian people thrive on. In fact, many of the chefs/owners of the Puerta Cerradas are actually expats transplanted in this bustling city. Needless to say they know what they’re doing when it comes to making international cuisine. Besides this the Puerta Cerradas are a wonderful way to meet new people. Due to the intimate setting of these events one will often find that you can’t help but start up a conversation with the person next to you making it a fantastic way to meet locals or other travelers.
When looking to make a reservation at a Puerta Cerrada there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. For starters, Puerta Cerradas require that you book in advance. This can typically be done by phone or email but it must be done. Sometimes you’ll get lucky with a same day reservation but it is highly recommended that you book at least a few days in advance in order to ensure your party’s seats. Also to keep in mind is that fact that not all Puerta Cerradas are open 7 days a week. It is quite typical that they’re open between 2 and 4 days of the week. The menus are more often then not set menus (which will change from week to week sometimes offering a selection between two main courses) but when calling to make a reservation you MUST clarify if you have any sort of dietary restriction. The meals typically range anywhere from A$ 100 to A$ 400 per person (most only accept cash) and this may or may not include beverages.
Some of our favorite Puerta Cerradas include:
Buenos Aires is one of those cities where one can experience major attacks of FOMO. That’s right, FOMO…Fear.Of.Missing.Out. Cool stuff is always happening here, and if you don’t know the right people or check the right websites, you’ll be left out like a middle-schooler with head gear. (I’m allowed to say that, I’ve been there). You might feel like this is happening to you and you probably have no idea how to fix your situation. You think, perhaps I’ll get a tattoo, perhaps I’ll learn the lines from a few good movies, perhaps I’ll perfect my Argentine slang. Try as you might, this city is just too hip. I personally have had to come to terms with my FOMO syndrome since living in BA. Coming from a much smaller city, I’m used to always being aware of the cool stuff going on around town. I didn’t have to search too hard to be a part of the “in” crowd. On the other hand Buenos Aires has a way of being so enticingly unforthcoming. It won’t give up its secrets to just anyone. Plus, it’s inhabited by a rare species of humans that are able to function on significantly less sleep than the rest of us. Let’s just say, I’m always the first one to leave the party. Talk about a major aguasfiestas! (Translation: party pooper=cool argentine slang 🙂 ). So basically we have a city filled with people that don’t sleep and way too many cool things going on that how is the poor FOMO affilicted expat supposed to find guidance?? Well, fear no more. I’m here to help. I’m not promising to increase your number of facebook friends or anything but I will be here every Friday to give some advice some cool things to check out in the upcoming week. You know, from one FOMO to another.
So! Having said all that, the top priority on my list for this weekend is the Galpon de Ropa Feria Americana. The Galpon de Ropa is an online clothing store based in Buenos Aires, where people can buy and sell used clothes. One Saturday a month they hold a huge clothing sale at a bar in the middle of Palermo Hollywood. It is true that my boyfriend is the co-owner and if I don’t go I’ll end up in second place for our weekly best roommate award. But putting all baises aside, the Galpon de Ropa has some amazing deals. I don’t know about you other expats out there but when I moved to Buenos Aires I shoved all of my belongings into a backpack without any expectation of staying longer than a few months. Two years later, my current clothing situation is pretty pathetic. I have approximately five good work outfits which I wear M-F. Repeat. Everything else I’ve pretty much worn down to threads. The problem is clothes in this city are so crazy expensive! How am I supposed to look good when I have to choose between organic food or new clothes?? (we’ll talk about organic food later) But seriously, this is injust! Thankfully, the Galpon de Ropa is looking out for us. Plus one of the coolest things about buying used clothes is the realization that you are being an earthy-friendly consumer! “Re” in Argentine spanish means “super” (cool argentine slang 🙂 ) so for me, more re’s = more awesome: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE! So this Saturday I’ll be at Honduras 5615 esquina Fitz Roy from 2-7 perusing what the Galpon has to offer this month. Hopefully something with tiny little fans attached to it… this heat is affecting my sanity.
Check out a recent photo from the last Galpon de Ropa Feria America! Featured in OHLALA’s December edition ( I’m famous!!!)
So that’s right folks, Consumo Colaborativo is in. All you MOFO’s out there looking for some cool points, take note! And come out to the fair this Saturday. I’ll be there to sign autographs 🙂