After hearing much about the famous Argentine meat, especially how all the cows are grass-fed without hormones etc ..., my sister wanted to try some. I could have brought her to Cabaña Las Lilas, as would probably be on the top of most people's "best steak in BA" list; but after my lukewarm experience there, I decided to try another popular parilla: La Cabrera in Palermo Viejo. And I'm glad I did, because this experience was well-worth it: it's the best steak I've had in Buenos Aires. The restaurant doesn't take reservations, so if you arrive during peak hours like we did (11:30pm), expect to wait for awhile. The restaurant was loud and busy, with tables practically on top of each other. After hanging out for 30 minutes, we were seated, and the fun began. The menu was nearly entirely meat, which is what I hoped to see. Definitely not vegetarian-friendly. The waiter emphasized the need to share, since each steak comes with a unique variety of side dishes. Between my sister and I, we ordered the bife de lomo (rare) and sirloin (rare). We decided to skip appetizers, since our surrounding tables looked intimidatingly full.
The steaks came, and my stomach rumbled. Each steak was served on a wooden palette colored by an incredible diversity of vegetarian accompaniments. Perhaps this is why there weren't any side dishes to be found on the menu. Of all the sides, one that particularly stood out was the creamed butternut squash puree: it had a perfect nutty flavor to accompany the grilled flavor of the meat. Despite the 19 side dishes, however, each steak could have easily stood up on its own. I found the sirloin to be the juiciest of the two, round earthy flavors with just a hint of char from the parilla. The lomo was incredibly tender as well.
The entire experience was incredibly unpretentious, down to earth, and downright delicious. While the diversity of side dishes was certainly excessive, and not at all necessary to highlight the natural flavors of these perfect cuts of meat, they were so much fun. They also confirmed our initial hesitation to avoid ordering appetizers or additional sides. If I could do this meal over, I probably would have avoided that bread roll at the beginning ... such is life. This has been my highlight Buenos Aires steak experience, and if I could recommend a visit to just one parilla in the city, it would be La Cabrera.