Mammalinda -- Lunch with the Alpha Hound
- Gary Cheong
I arrived at Mammalinda well before Jim (who was
running a little late). Barely got a cursory hello
from the proprietress who, only 16 hours ago, greeted
us warmly and proudly showed us all this restaurant
had to offer. Even Jim's arrival failed to jog her
memory. Not that it matters much, but strange
The one waitress working was absolutely clueless about
service. She took my order and abruptly walked away
without taking Jim's. She looked a bit miffed when
Jim piped up "I'd like to order too". We had to ask
for silverware when the apps came.
On to the food.... We both agreed that the chicken
empanada I ordered was excellent. It even survived re-
warming in the microwave. A bargain at $1.50!
It tasted even better with the amazing chimichurri
sauce with plenty of visible bits of garlic in it.
Jim was not so lucky with his app. - a big slice of a
layered pie of potato and onions (forgot the proper
name, will probably be in Jim's report).
The Argentine Rib Eye steak, and the chorizo with
fries came next. It was quite a nice sized steak --
probably cost more than $7.95 at the local
supermarket. It was quite flavorful, and cooked
medium as requested. Certainly beats the shoe-leather
they serve at some other Argentine grilled meat
joints. Rice and beans were served with the steak.
The yellow rice suffered from being dried out after
spending too long on the steam table. The red beans
fared much better, but got progressively very salty.
The chorizo was just very mediocre. Jim had ordered
Nose fries with it, but what came out was just regular
shoestring fries. When we asked if this was nose
fries, clueless waitress said they didn't have any and
the fries offered was good. She could at least tell
us beforehand. Well, the fries were NOT good. They
were soggy and flavorless.
We gave the desserts on the spinning carousel a miss.
Reminds me of the one they have on the set of "Union
Square", that horrible diner sitcom.
Time for the check. At least Clueless knew how to add
correctly. We wonder how long this place will stay in
That's my report -- look out for Jim's much more
entertaining version soon.
In general, Argentine beef sucks. It sucks in Buenos
Aires, it sucks in Rio, and I'm not surprised it sucks
here--Argentines generally don't believe in aging their
beef, so the meat tends to have the texture of wadded
paper towels, at least when it's rare, which it never
is, and the surface of the meat has to be subjected to
blast-furnace heat to caramelize at all. Are people
really importing the stuff?
re: jonathan gold
I can't say that I have tried Argentine beef in many
instances. But I also can't remember eating at any
Argentine or Brazillian restaurant that did not grill
their meats to death.
At least at Mammalinda, I did not take that steak out
with me to re-sole my shoes. It's ok for $7.95 , but
it's not worth much more.
Hey Jim, any response to Jonathan's comments that
"Argentine beef sucks" ?
I had a chorizo sandwich here a couple of weeks ago (to
go) and it was pretty tasty. I hope they do most of
their business at night because any time I pass by at
lunchtime the place is pretty empty. They need to
spruce up the surroundings a little and maybe pipe in
some gaucho tapes. I've always been happy at La Fusca
in Elmhurst but haven't been there in a couple of
years.( I know Jim, I'm crossing over to "For the
Boroughphobic" but it fits here.) Has anyone been to
the Fusca lately ?