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Nov 27, 2009 10:04 PM

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

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,


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  1. 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).

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

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. 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. 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.