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Travel + Culture

Workers' Paradise in Buenos Aires


I gasped as I walked into El Obrero, a 53-year-old restaurant in a run-down part of town whose name ("the worker") was a hint to its blue-collar appeal. It was the kind of place I've been trying to track down all my life. The smoky smell of the Argentine grill floated in the air as I took my seat in a room papered with soccer posters and stuffed with sports memorabilia. Tiger Woods was putting on TV.

el obrero
I wanted what everyone in the room was having, so I started with a creamy mix of butter, cognac and Roquefort to spread on little white rolls. I dressed an arugula salad at the table and split a chard-and-tomato tortilla (a frittata-like dish that also included eggs, potato, and cheese). But best of all was blood sausage with sweetbreads. A mellow Malbec from Mendoza was just the wine for the occasion, and I couldn't resist the Flan Casero for dessert, which came with a dollop of dulce de leche ice cream and a mountain of whipped cream.