Juana M

I’d had a pretty relaxed time in Buenos Aires. I did a fair amount of wandering in the pleasant warmth of the afternoons but nothing had been done at anything beyond a leisurely stroll. As I neared the end of my time in the city I wondered whether I’d done rather too little but decided this was best pondered over a lunch at Juana M.

In an artistic gallery basement, Juana M isn’t your typical Buenos Aires parrilla in terms of aesthetic. It’s a very cool post-industrial space and had a really good feel to it.

The menu is, however, pretty classic parrilla territory with pasta, sausage and steak to the fore. This was no bad thing as I was definitely in need of a substantial middle of the day feed.

After a wander around to look at the artwork which included quite a good portrait of The Rolling Stones, I chose a table near the front and was promptly brought the menu. This was helpfully in both Spanish and English, although I would have been able to work things out well enough. It did however hit paydirt with a word I wouldn’t have recognised which was translated as skirt steak, always a cut that draws my attention.

I opened with some morcilla – Spanish black pudding – and was rewarded with two bursting sausages that looked not unlike haggis. It was top notch offally goodness.

The steak arrived with a big bowl of garlic and herb fries I’d ordered as an accompaniment. In addition, they had a salad bar with various items including an excellent condiment selection with a couple of really good chimichurris.

The steak, cooked accurately to medium rare, was outstanding. It’s such a flavourful cut and as long as it’s handled sensitively retains good tenderness. I wolfed it down in record time.

I rounded things out with pretty shit coffee, but at least it wasn’t Nespresso.

So overall, Juana M felt like a place where I would become an all too regular visitor. It was the first place in town where I thought ‘I am at home in the very best of worlds’ which is the kind of Panglossian feeling I want to feel as much as possible. When next in town, this is likely to be an early port of call as it was just splendid. Put it on your list for lunch in town.

Blythe scores Juana M
4.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20

I ate: morcilla, skirt steak, chips, salad

I drank: blonde ale

I wore: black and white

Total bill: 785 pesos

Address: Pellegrini 1535, Buenos Aires

Written by BKR