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How do I order beef medium-rare in Buenos Aires?

Mike624 Nov 27, 2009 10:04 PM

Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but I seem to be finding multiple ways to order beef medium-rare in Buenos Aires and some sites contradict others.

Seems like "a punto" is the most common way to request medium-rare, but I've read on a few sites that "a punto" isn't really what Americans (I'm from NYC) would consider medium-rare and that meat can often come much closer to well-done. One site I came across suggested ordering meat "azul." Can I simply ask for "rosa" or "rojo?" One phrasebook suggested to order "no muy hecho," but that seems awfully ambiguous. Should I order rare ("vuelta y vuelta"??") and hope for the best?

Anyone living in BA or with extensive travel experience there have any thoughts on this? I'll be in town from December 7 to 9 and I'd like to get some good-old fashioned bife de lomo MEDIUM-RARE.

Thanks in advance for your help,


  1. r
    RicRios Dec 24, 2009 07:51 AM

    This is one of those cases where a word-for-word translation might get you into trouble.
    "Medium rare" can be translated as "medio raro".
    Now, I wouldn't dare ordering a "steak medio raro", could end up with a slab of freshly skinned cat.

    1. t
      toovernator Dec 23, 2009 04:41 PM

      I was in BA for two weeks and like my steak medium rare, leaning towards rare. I always said "con sangre" and that seemed to do the trick. It means "with blood" and basically means rare, but my steaks always came out perfectly medium rare when I said that -- except when they came out overdone, which happens no matter what you say, and that seems to be the case in every city.

      1. p
        paul balbin Nov 28, 2009 03:52 AM

        I agree with Casa salt shaker.
        If you get a chance check out "El Palacio de las Papas Fritas" They have awsome steaks.

        1. Casa SaltShaker Nov 28, 2009 02:08 AM

          I sent this to you directly as well in response to your e-mail -

          Things are a bit loose in terms of exact done-ness, but::

          "Blue" - vuelta y vuelta
          Rare - jugoso
          Medium - a punto
          Well Done - hecho, or, bien cocido

          And, keep in mind, that like steakhouses anywhere, they may have their own
          opinions about either how well done each of those is and/or how well done
          you should eat it (in general, I'd eat meat here done slightly more than in
          the states - really rare beef here is usually pretty chewy because it's so
          lean) - and there's not much of a culture of "sending it back", some places
          would just ignore such a request, some would simply charge you for two
          steaks, and, at least, some of the better ones, will do what you ask
          (hopefully in the first place).

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