vegetarians look away now…

Now, I will admit, this is a launch away from the norm for me, both in what I like to yarn about, and what I eat.

I am not really into great chunks of meat,  I am more into indo/asian – Indian, Malay, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and Japanese foods.  Rare that I sit and eat a chunk of meat.   English Roast dinners, once in a while, are ok.   I am, I suppose, semi-vegetarian. Fish and Rabbit much of my protein intake.   If you’re wondering where the rabbit comes from… well… country boy here.  Plink.

I suppose it stems from growing up in a pub, steaks, puddings, pies and chops were the staple.   Everyone else’s treats, I guess.   I have always loved simple fresh foods in the styles above.   Whereas the idea of a steak has been something of a turn off.   But, I had heard about the love for over-wood-fired-flame cooked steaks from South America, and being a little bit nice.    A good friend, with who I have travelled a fair bit, recently married a lovely Argentinian lady, steaks were part of a conversation I recall.    Then, after a particularly heinous beer tasting, with friends from the Dovetail, near the Jerusalem Tavern, a fantastic bar that specialises in Belgian beers, the Dovetail that is… we headed off down various side streets to this great steak place… “you eat meet, yes?”… is the Pope in town?

I will repeat,  I am a country boy,  two country lanes don’t look the same, whereas two streets in London…   Don’t ask me how to find this place.  Use GOOGLE!   But, it’s near Farringdon, I think?!

The building wasn’t one that stood out as a restaurant.  Going in, it could have been a fancy wine bar or a hairdressers.     We were graciously met, benefits of knowing the manager, one assumes.    Empanadas arrived.   Crispy, hot, warm and full of semi-stinky cheese = flavour.  Good start.    I had a few sips of a Malbec.    Grape and Grain + me, should never meet.   I do like a glass of wine on occasion… but a beer would have been nice.  Slight lack of beers, but impressive selection of south american wines (hell, there should be).  The ambience was subtle, genteel and even perhaps a little quiet.   Tables weren’t too close.   There is an impressive back room, that would suit a nice little gathering…

Being right beside the major fireplace was something special to see – ok, perhaps Fireplace isn’t a great description – think cross between medieval fireplace and cowboy cooking.   But, a meat lovers heaven!     I did order the Ribeye, probably my favourite cut, then noticed a hanger steak, to which they were out… d’oh.    Still,  my steak arrived, in good time.     You can see from the picture above, they damn well nailed it, to my taste.    It was quite honestly one of the best steaks I have had in a loooong time.  The person sitting opposite me, her Fillet was a little over cooked, but, meh, Fillet is an overrated cut.

See, I think that’s why I have been kinda turned off steaks, most of what you get out there is a bit poo.   You have to travel a good ways to find something akin to this.       The premise here  is all steaks are cooked over wood/coal – and my god do they do it well.       Normally after a steak I feel very lethargic, my digestive system nails me… this however was such a delight to nom on, it was actually tweet worthy!   This was one steak that I didn’t want to finish.

I have a friend in Argentina currently, an American, who’s messaging persistently to get down to Buenos Aires for some Steaks and beer, (their beer scene is improving, considerably, with the efforts of Pete Schlosberg and Charlie Papazian) – If this place is anything to go by,  hell yes!

Walking distance from Jerusalem Passage.

I can wholeheartedly recommend A La Cruz.