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Thursday
Jul072011

Things are looking up in Puerto Iguazú

Little Puerto Iguazú sits at the confluence of the Ríos Paraná and Iguazú and looks across to Brazil and Paraguay. It doesn’t really feel like Argentina any more. There’s no center and little feeling of community – everyone is here to see the falls or to make a buck out of them.

This is the inspiring introduction to the Lonely Planet Argentina’s chapter on Puerto Iguazú so, as you might imagine, I was not expecting great things on the food front. Well, one should never judge a book by its cover, so they say. Or perhaps more fittingly in this case, one should never judge a town by a book. Actually if I had bothered to read beyond this rather offputting introduction I would have discovered, as I have just now, that it later says that there are “many excellent places to stay and eat.”

As it was I was pleasantly surprised to find that the local recommendation for a restaurant serving local riverfish – surubí, dorado and one whose name escapes me – was not only good but a vast improvement on BA. After a predictably horrible but filling burger at the falls themselves I didn’t have much of an appetite for dinner so I only had one course at Aqva restaurant, but it was the best dish thus far in Argentina.

Aqva restaurant is located on the corner of Av. Córdoba and Carlos Thays in the centre of Puerto Iguazú. The ambience is warm and cosy, just what I needed after a cold day at the falls. The service was also warm, as well as friendly, something that I have found everywhere since leaving BA. They never seem to mind that I am by myself, no matter how busy, and it is always fine to just have a glass of wine and an entrée if that is all I fancy.

Of course, I had to try one of the riverfish, their specialty, so I went with the surubí con salsa de vino blanco, langostinos & risotto de papas (surubí with white wine sauce, prawns and potato risotto). The surubí was a white fleshed fish cooked with a perfectly crispy skin. The rich and creamy white wine sauce was well paired with the meaty flesh. I say meaty, but it could be that it was ever so slightly overcooked, however I am giving them the benefit of the doubt because the prawns were cooked to perfection. My only complaint would be that the so called potato “risotto” (no rice, just small chunks of potato cooked in a lot of butter with cheese and diced red pepper) was far too rich as a side along with the creamy sauce and heafty portion of fish. Still, it tasted good, it just meant I wasn’t able to finish it all or squeeze in dessert.

I was just in Puerto Iguazú for one night and two half days so I only had the chance to try one other recommendation which was the feria (literally fair, but actually a food market). There were a number of stalls there selling Argentine sweets, wines, charcuterie, olives and cheeses, as well as some selling hot meals, such as stewed chicken, pastas, grilled meats (parilla) and empanadas, all at very reasonable prices. By this stage I had decided to read the rest of the chapter on the town in my guide book and it told me that I could order a plate of charcuterie, cheese and olives from any of the deli stores. I wouldn’t have known this otherwise, so I am glad I decided to read on.

As you can see, the plate was nothing flash – just a simple salami, cheese and some marinated olives. Nonetheless, it was just what I felt like after a heavy meal the night before, washed down with a cerveza and a coke zero to perk me up for the afternoon.

This little guy was hoping to find some good food too

 

This little guy was more successful

Next stop: Córdoba.

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Reader Comments (5)

Wow RSG looks incredible!!! Xxxx

July 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmba

Hi lady, yeah the falls were amazing - I assume that is what you were referring to rather than the food ;) Looking forward to seeing the next installment on the new cake blog! xxx

July 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterVix

Great to see you are savouring the local delicacies. Just back from Costa del Sol -home of habitas con chiperones y jamon. have learnt how to cook it. if this post actually works I'll follow up with recipe

July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMa

Aha- funciona finalmente.... had trouble posting from Spain .... Habitas con chiperones y jamon/ baby broad beans with baby squids and spanish ham .The restaurant on the beach at Puerto Banus serves this Granada dish, I recreated it for the 3 little maids from school , who pronounced it a triumph. Peeled tomatoes, cooked them in pan with olive oil and garlic, added a little white wine.Separately I pan fried the chiperones- less than a minute they were so fresh - stirred in the chopped jamon and the drained habitas ( out of tin) - then threw it all together. So easy , so good!! Happy eating, Happy travelling x x

July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMa

Wow Ma, that sounds fantastic. I'm not sure how easy it is to get baby squids in London, but I would love to try it if and when I can get hold of them.

July 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterVix

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