Argentina is known to boast some of the best “Asados” (BBQ) in the world but you could find just as delicious Vegetarian Food in Buenos Aires. The food was certainly one of the main attractions that drew me to visiting in addition to the local wine, pasta and pizzas stemming from their European influence. While I enjoyed the incessant of amounts of carnivorous, carb-filled gluttonous feasts in most of our 10 days there, our bodies were craving for a healthier meal. I browsed through my trusted go-to travel site Lonely Planet, where I came across a section describing the recent fad of pop-up dinners at people’s homes. As I scrolled down the list, I came across “Jueves a la Mesa“, a highly-recommended Vegetarian Pop Up at a home in the San Telmo Neighborhood of Buenos Aires.
Their headline reads “It’s good to eat plants.” I thought, that is exactly what we need right now, and the same sentiment we would find with many others that pop in weekly to the fully booked, joyous table.
“Jueves a la Mesa brings the natural bounty of Argentina to the table. A good verduleria is a showroom of natural abundance, the raw materials with which to create spicy, succulent meals.
We all know we should eat plants because they are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that protect us from cancer, improve cell functioning, and cleanse our bodies of toxins.
And there’s another reason: turning plants into food puts us in direct contact with leaves, stems, seeds, fruits, and flowers. While many of us have lifestyles that limit our exposure to nature or even a garden, the handling and preparing of plants offer a connection to the natural realm.”
I emailed them and was given a quick confirmation with the time and address, with an invitation to their Yoga class before, also in the apartment. The 2 female Chefs are Meghan and Sofia who have run their successful business of Yoga classes as well as Vegetarian dinners in their bohemian, free-spirited apartment since November 2010.
Healthy, Organic Vegetarian Food
The focus is on local organic, seasonal vegetables/plants and fresh ingredients to create succulent, often spicier meals. The chefs tastefully create dishes from around the globe: Moroccan, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, African, Central/South American just to name a few, and aren’t shy to experiment with various spices. While most of the dishes are vegan and gluten free, it is not 100%, so please inform them ahead of time if you prefer that. They are flexible and accommodating in making sure your experience is perfecto!
We arrived right on time and other guests trickled in within the next hour. Some were regulars who had become friends of the hosts (both locals and expats), a few others heard about them from friends and from good reviews on the internet like us. There was also a group of 6 people who came from a 30-day work-travel program called BeUnsettled, who were living/traveling in Buenos Aires while running their business abroad. I am always reminded that it is no coincidence that fate brings kindred spirits together. Like attracts like and our gypsy energy brought us all there that evening to enjoy that scrumptious nutrition-filled meal.
Our dinner started with Cardamon infused water on the long dinner table. Certainly my first time trying this savory drink and now have become a new culinary treat I’ve adopted. Not only is it tasty, it’s incredibly healthy. One of the biggest part of traveling for me is exploring a diverse range of culinary traditions and ideas from others’ homes you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.
The menus change weekly as it goes along with seasons, but you will surely not be disappointed.
For dessert, they always serve seasonal fruit with Meghan’s home-made dark chocolate. The meal ends with ginger tea which helps the body absorb protein and leaves a wonderful taste in your mouth.
Some evenings, they’ll even have live music. We were blessed to have Emily Kate Boyd and Jay Bird perform in the living room, best described as soulful, jazzy, acoustic music. My favorite song of the evening was “Kitchen Conversation” with a verse that says “..drunk off the feeling..” while we sipped wine from local regions and conversed with new friends from around the world on travel, politics, global affairs, philanthropy and more.
What I loved about the organic wine in Argentina as well as other local wines was that it does not contain Sulfites (preservative) which eliminates headaches and hangovers, at least in my experience. It is also slightly healthier for you.
They have generously provided some recipes on their site in case your mouth is watering from this post and want to get started right away on a hearty vegetarian meal!
Jueves a La Mesa
Cost: AR$400* which includes organic wine (AR$350 if you are a Yoga student!)
Time: 8:30pm every Thursday
Place: San Telmo Neighborhood, Buenos Aires (exact address will be provided when you email and make your reservation)
Reservations: Email Juevesalamesa@gmail.com / https://juevesalamesa.wordpress.com
Yoga Class: Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sunday / Schedule on www.buenaondayoga.net