Posts tagged dining

My Favorite Place to Dine and Stay in Vaqueros, Salta


By Roy Heale

The small village of Vaqueros is just outside the Salta city limits and offers a wonderful Argentine country experience. The town is full of small stores, parkland, and of course the riverbank outdoor activities. Located in the foothills of the Andes at 4000′above sea level, with a resident population of about 4000 persons, here you will see traditional Argentina Gauchos (cowboys) on horseback making their way around the hamlet. Enjoy the small town atmosphere and great low prices in restaurants or local shops.
Visitors can experience horseback riding on the mountain trails, hiking around the hillsides, or take a guided quadricycle tour. Or you can stroll along the trail of the Artisans, a circuit to appreciate popular local arts and crafts fabricated in wood, leather, clay and wool.

Cozy Interior

Cozy Interior

The small and cozy Maurias bistro is a perfect place for dining. The food is home cooked to order with real country kitchen style and flavors. They are open for lunch and dinner offering empanadas, humitas, Spanish style potato tartas, a variety of main courses and traditional postrie deserts. The bife de lomo bordelaise (filet mignon) is a must for beef lovers or the roasted chicken breast Italian for lighter meat. Two people can easily dine here with a hearty meal accompanied by local wine for about US$15 and they have a cozy interior dining room or bright outdoor patio. This is my favorite place when I am at my country home in Vaqueros. This is off the beaten track for tourists but well worth a visit. Easily reached by taxi or city bus be sure to make this side trip if you are visiting the city of Salta.


Generous Portions

Generous Portions

Gay-friendly accommodations are available located just 100 meters from the river and about the same distance from the village center. Luis Pezzini offers traditional Argentine cottages with all amenities from US$50 per night and they sleep up to four adults. With digital TV, WiFi, heating, and comfortable furnishings these living quarters are perfect for a country get-away and yet remain close to the city of Salta.

There is regular bus service (about every 15 minutes) to the city or a remise ride for about US$5.00 to downtown Salta. Your host is also very knowledgeable on the local area and can help with outdoor activities or tour advice.

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Inside RestoBar is a Buenos Aires Tradition


By Roy Heale

The famous Follies Bergère cabaret of Paris led the way in risqué entertainment in the late nineteenth century. In England “The Full Monty” became a household expression in the 1990s. But today in Buenos Aires one of the renowned main attractions for tourists and locals alike is the dinner and dance at INSIDE RestoBar. This is where, during dinner, the dance is not Tango but rather it refers to some hot, Latin male performers who slowly peel off all their attire with audience participation as the main course.

Visitors to INSIDE RestoBar whether tourists or portenos—as the locals are affectionately known— all seem to agree on one fact: it’s the overall ambiance that makes it a fun place for a unique night out in Buenos Aires. Commencing with the warm and friendly greeting at the door, to the attentive service, the intimate pepper “ritual”, the hands-on entertainment, and good food at modest prices, this has developed into a singular Buenos Aires night-life tradition. For just over seven years INSIDE RestoBar has entertained many satisfied guests from Argentina and around the globe. Known simply as INSIDE to the portenos, just one visit and almost everybody is in agreement upon the uniqueness of the INSIDE experience.

In a city filled with unique attractions this is no small undertaking to achieve such recognition. Just over seven years ago Diego and Matias were working together at Tacla Restaurant, where they had initiated the concept of dining with dancers, when they decided after five years it was time to move on. At first they had both planned to follow other career paths outside of the restaurant industry, but later they decided to open their own restaurant and bar. An extensive real estate search resulted in the current location for INSIDE and the rest, as they say, is now history. During this time they perfected the INSIDE ambiance and friendly tone with amazing staff and cozy décor. After six years Matias decided to move on and spend more time with his family, while Diego has continued on as the sole proprietor to maintain the INSIDE tradition.

Upon arriving at the magnificent, tall carved wooden entrance doors the pleasures awaiting inside are not apparent at first glance. But one step through this narrow entrance and the soft lighting, with a low-key red and black interior, immediately exudes an aura of warmth and intimacy. The lower level includes a friendly small bar and about twenty tables, while the upper mezzanine level is a smoking section—including special air conditioning— with another dozen or so tables and chairs. The two rooms are surrounded by flat screen televisions for entertainment and closed-circuit video. Altogether the maximum capacity is less than one hundred patrons ensuring a comfortable closeness for all to enjoy.

Diego is a hands-on owner who spends much of his time waiting on tables and greeting customers. His own very warm, Latin personality exudes friendliness and generous hospitality which has become infectious to the other staff members who all follow his lead and have learned from the “master” how to keep their customers happy. “It is always difficult to find good staff for any restaurant. But once you find them and train them, then you have to make sure that they enjoy their work. This way they will stay with you for a long time and get to know the regular customers. Both patrons and employees must enjoy seeing a regular face when they are at INSIDE,” says Diego when asked how he is able to find such wonderful employees and keep them for such a long time in an industry notorious for employee mobility. Diego’s successful formula is apparent right from the very first time you visit INSIDE.

An extensive menu with French and Italian influence offers a wide variety of appetizers, a selection of meats, fish, and pasta entrées plus tantalizing desserts. Amazingly all of this is offered at regular competitive prices without the normal surcharge which one would expect at venues where entertainment is included. “I don’t believe a premium should be charged for entertainment. It should be just a part of enjoying the INSIDE experience and included in the price of dinner and drinks, yet still remain competitive,” says Diego. A complimentary glass of champagne, lemon liqueur, or coffee rounds out the perfect evening. Menu changes are made on a monthly basis ensuring that regular customers always have fresh dinner choices to accompany the ever changing entertainment offerings. Without a doubt this is one of the best values for your vacation entertainment monies to be found amongst Buenos Aires nightlife.


And then there’s the dancers… To use an old phrase, this has to be the icing on the cake! Normally any male dancers would be performing up on a stage and out of reach from the audience. But here at INSIDE this is a truly hands-on experience as the hot, sexy, Latin men roam around the room flaunting their perfect bodies and table hopping with their intricate dance routines and high-energy movements choreographed seductively with audience participation. This brings new meaning to the old phrase “strip tease” with a truly unique INSIDE recipe. Commencing around 11PM several dancers will each perform up to three different numbers culminating in their own Buenos Aires’ style Full Monty. “Normally a new dancer will attend with a co-worker who is performing that night and observe the shows before deciding to become a member of the INSIDE roster of performers,”says Diego, when asked how he recruits such unique male talent. “It takes a very special male dancer to join our team and it is not every performer who can meet the INSIDE standards,” continues Diego. The entertaining result is indeed a truly singular INSIDE brand which has gained worldwide recognition.

The only truly gay restaurant in Buenos Aires, INSIDE RestoBar is located at Bartolomé Mitre 1571 in downtown Buenos Aires very close to the Congreso building. It is just a few blocks from Pena or Congreso stations on the Subte Line A. Now it is also open at 8AM for breakfasts and lunches with the main attraction being dinner and dancing until closing time in the wee morning hours. Reservations are recommended for dinner, especially Thursdays through Sundays, by calling 4372 5439 at any time.

So the insider’s secret is out—INSIDE RestoBar is one of the main attractions for dinner and dancing in the gay Buenos Aires nightlife scene. It’s a main attraction not to be missed when visiting Buenos Aires—the Paris of South America. Move over Follies Bergère as Buenos Aires is making gay entertainment history in several different ways.

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