Posted on 12 / 26 / 2008
There's lots of vegetarian food in Buenos Aires: pizza and pasta abound. My party of five headed for Bio -- a trek from our Centro digs -- hoping for a break from the usual fare.
Where do I begin? The desultory greeting was offputting, but not a deal killer. Since only one of us speaks Spanish, the bilingual menu was a plus. The ginger lemonade and olive tapenade, both nice.
A number of items on the menu were not available. Okay. We ordered, and the wait began. After some time, one dinner arrived. About five minutes later, the two tofu dinners showed up. I normally would not patronize a restaurant that brought everyone's food at a different time, but what happened next was even more outrageous: the server came over and asked the other two members of our party what they had ordered! As you can imagine, we had rather a long wait before all the dishes arrived.
The portions are small, and the hungrier members of our group were not thrilled about that. The much-praised tofu was ridiculously bland and we had to ask for salt (something I normally don't do). The salt cellar was cute but filled with a lot of unidentified crud as well as salt.
I don't like having serving people hover over me, but service was casual to the point that we felt ignored. We had to ask to have water refilled, and then were charged for four bottled waters we had neither ordered nor received.
The bill worked out to about $15/person U.S. -- not bad for a meal at home, but high for Buenos Aires. And I'd give the food a B-. The presentation is lovely, but it looks a lot better than it tastes.
On our way down Humboldt after dinner, we passed a couple of much livelier restaurants around the 2300 block. As we walked back to Santa Fe, we could not help but wish we'd chosen one of them instead of Bio.
lemon ginger drink, bilingual menu, variety of choices
poor service, bland food, high prices