El Salto de Las Ranas Restaurant Review
A spicy little Mexican Restaurant in the upscale neighborhood of Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
On our second attempt to go to Cumun, an inexpensive restaurant recommended in the guide books, there was a long line at the door and we were too hungry to wait so we opted for the Mexican Restaurant a couple doors down, El Salto de las Ranas. We were immediately pleased with the atmosphere – low lighting, but not too dark, well spaced tables and lots of cool air conditioning.
As we entered the door a smiling server approached and asked us where we preferred to sit. Like all Argentinean restaurants if you are a party of two you can only sit in tables meant for two people. In this long skinny restaurant there were only two rows of tables against each wall. The row on the right was meant for parties of four, which were pushed together for larger parties, and the tables on the left were two tops connected by a smaller center table so if it was a crowded night you would have another couple sitting next two you. Luckily we were there at about 9 pm on a Monday night so there were plenty of free tables.
I’ve become quite good at translating a typically parrilla menu, but the Mexican menu still baffles me. I guess they had the usually Mexican cuisine. There were nachos with a variety of dips, tacos with beef or chicken, enchiladas and fajitas. Those were the items I recognized; there were many more dished, but I wasn’t exactly sure what the menu said. Like any American-Mexican restaurant nachos with salsa were served as soon as we sat down. The salsa was okay, it tasted a little bit like ketchup was mixed in with it, and it wasn’t very spicy. The nachos were great. They were obviously home made. Each one was a different size and they were fluffy from being fried.
I ordered Enchiladas Rojos and my boyfriend ordered a meat dish with potatoes. The server asked if I would like my dinner spicy, believing that Argentineans didn’t know how to make a dish spicy I replied “si muy picante” (yes, very spicy). Oh, if I had only known that there was a Mexican hiding in the kitchen . . . Our dishes came out a few minutes after ordering and they looked great. I had two enormous chicken enchiladas smothered in cheese and topped with a red sauce. My boyfriend’s meat dish consisted of two pieces of entrana (skirt steak) and two potato skins toped with a Mexican corn mix.
I bit into my enchiladas and my mouth burst into flames. Wowzers!!! I didn’t think it was possible for something to be that spicy in Argentina. Thankfully we had an entire pitcher of Sangria to help cool my burning tongue. Upon closer inspection I realized that the red sauce on top was just a bunch of sliced peppers. I pulled off about half of them and was able to enjoy my meal with optimum spice levels.
My boyfriend’s skirt steak was delicious and the potato skins were a real treat. I was surprised that a random Mexican restaurant could cook skirt steak to perfection, but this is Argentina. It was so refreshing having potato skins again; it was like being in Fridays back home. I just wished they were accompanied by sour cream.
The Sangria of El Salto de las Ranas
The Sangria was delicious! When the server first brought the pitcher to the table I was a little disappointed. The fruit inside the pitcher was limited to sliced lemons and oranges, and I love the variety you get at Olive Garden. One of my favorite parts of Sangria is eating the wine soaked grapes, melon and strawberries. In Argentina the server does not mix the sangria in the back and let it sit for a few hours. A pitcher filled with fruit is brought to your table with a fresh bottle of wine. I assume you can pick a specific type of wine if desired, but we just went with the standard wine. It was a cabernet and shiraz mix with another varietal that I don’t remember. The server poured the wine, mixed it a little, then told us to wait 3 – 5 minutes for it to be ready. I was so surprised at the first taste; it was so sweet and delicious. I will definitely add lots of citrus to my next home-made sangria.
At the end of the night we were very happy, very full and a little drink. The bill came to 87 pesos with is about $30 USD. The service was great and the food was excellent. I highly recommend the Buenos Aires El Salto de las Ranas Mexican Restaurant.
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