For all you chicken lovers out there, life in Buenos Aires just got a whole lot better. If you haven’t heard yet, Nola Chef and Broeders Beer have teamed up to create NOLA Gastropub, a safe-haven of fried chicken and craft beer. The idea is simple: 4 delicious dishes, great beer at a great price, a cozy environment with good tunes and some house-made sauces that are spicy enough to knock your socks right off. But don’t be afraid to try the green one, small bowls of rice are provided upon request for those who can ‘t seem to shake the heat.
First, those 4 delicious dishes:
1. Fried Chicken Plate (make it a combo and add a pint of beer for just 90 pesos). 2 big pieces of fried chicken with side of some potato salad. What more can you ask for? I’ll take that 90 peso combo and pair it with a Golden Ale any day!
2. Fried Chicken Sandwich. I’m sure we all remember the day the Burger Joint opened up in Palermo. It was a benchmark in the quality of life for us expats. We never again had to worry about how long until we ate another big juicy hamburger. Most of us probably even signed up for their burger card and then qualified for the free one in an embarrassingly quick amount of time. Well, this fried chicken sandwich had an even profounder effect on me. After a few years in BA I’d just come to terms with the fact that some of those simple yet beautiful things in life would just be cherished memories of the past. A fried chicken sandwich was one of them. Now not only it an accessible reality, but it’s a darn tasty reality.
3. Gumbo. This one I haven’t had the opportunity to try yet (maybe tonight!) but I’ve heard it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. You know you are eating some real New Orleans gumbo made by a real New Orleans gal when you thank the lord it came with a pile of rice on the side.
4. Red Beans and Rice. NOLA was smart when they realized that in order to captivate the entire expat scene in BA they would need to appeal to those few vegetarians out there. I, clearly, am not one of them so I have yet to try this dish as well. But I’ll definitely be taking a veggie friend there soon and will steal a spoonful of this Cajun specialty to see what it’s all about.
Now, what’s the scoop on that great beer at a great price?
Well, first of all it’s craft beer. No, I’m not a hipster, but I can fully appreciate a pint of any beer that is crafted by the very man standing behind the counter taking orders. Honestly, anything besides quilmes would make me happy. But these beers are awesome. My two favorites are the Golden Ale and the Indian Pale Ale but their Irish Red Ale deserves a shout out as well. Now what makes drinking great beer even greater?? The prices! During happy hour from 4-8pm one can find themselves sippin’ on these crafty drinks for only 25 pesos! That is a tough bargain to come by in Palermo these days. And, if you do find yourself walking in the door at 8:05 feeling pretty bummed that you just missed happy hour, don’t fret, non-happy hour prices are still a bargain! A whole pint for only 35 pesos! Man, this crew sure knows how to win over the crowd. Plus if you aren’t much of a beer fan, they’re selling wine, campari with orange juice, cynar with grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed!) or home-made ginger sodas and sweet teas for those who have come purely for the fried chicken.
Hmm..so far so good..and the environment is cozy?
Yes. Perhaps it’s because this place just opened and people can’t get enough of their fried chicken fix, or maybe the owners Liza and Ticol have a ton of friends. Whatever it may be, this place seems to be at full-capacity most nights of the week. Don’t let that scare you away though, there’s plenty of seating and everyone is too engrossed in their own delicious meal to notice how close the person next to them is.
Plus the design of the place is beautiful. The big chalkboard with the menu is laid out above the bar, which sports an awesome draft dispenser. The walls are covered with drawings from the tattoo artist down the street, my favorite of which is a giant chicken that seems to look down approvingly on all the happy eaters below. The tables are made from old planks of wood and the whole space gives off a reduce, reuse, recycle vibe, which we all agree is way cooler than designing without this sort of awareness. I recently went to New Orleans for the first time and can now testify that while I was eating my fried chicken last night, listening to some New Orleans’s own dixieland jazz, I felt for a moment that I was transported back to that enchanting land of cajun food, street-performers and beignets.
And finally, what about that spicy sauce?
The NOLA sauce station houses two sauces. A yellow one (honey mustard) that can be enjoyed by all, and a green one (unknown) for those who can take the heat. Don’t be a pansy, give it a try!
En fin, and in the words of the NOLA Gastropub’s blackboard… “Todos somos gordos!” So you heard ’em! Embrace it and indulge in some fried comfort food and endless supplies of brew. You’ll never regret those few extra calories. Check them out any day except for Tuesday. Gorriti 4389 on the corner of Julian Alvarez.