A Relaxing spot in Plaza Serrano
[Photo Credit: julianrod]
After a lazy Sunday afternoon spent domingueando (as the porteños say) – or in other words, relaxing and walking around the artisan fairs and examining the hand-made crafts and clothing items – head to Malasartes in Plaza Serrano (Palermo Soho) for a warm, welcoming café atmosphere any time of day or evening.
At weekends this focal point of Palermo Soho fills with artisans selling hand-made crafts and clothing, which are definitely worth an hour of browsing while you are in this area of Buenos Aires.
Enjoy Malasartes after a stroll around Palermo Soho or before a night of bar-hopping
Malasartes stands out among the other cafes and restaurants in the plaza for its warm atmosphere, inviting décor, and decent bistro-style food. It’s usually filled with locals and tourists who are shopping at the Palermo Soho boutiques, afternoon lunchers enjoying the healthy salads and hot meals, and bloggers like myself sipping on coffee and taking advantage of the wireless internet connection.
The café is located right on the intersection known as Plaza Serrano (which is officially named Plaza Julio Cortazar). It opens at 8am for breakfast, and goes until 2am, when you’ll finish off your last Fernet-Cola and head to a club in Palermo Soho or nearby Palermo Hollywood.
Warm and inviting décor while you sip coffee and chat with a friend
You walk into Malasartes and gaze up at the high ceilings and brick-lined walls, and these almost give you the impression of having entered a fireplace, looking up into a chimney. The place has plenty of sitting room: it’s got two floors, with a few couches and comfortable chairs on the first floor in the back. The bar plays low-key music as an underscore to the hum of conversations being held over food or drinks. If the weather is nice, the bar has tables on the sidewalk outside, where you can observe the colorful passersby that frequent this trendy sector of Palermo.
Malasartes goes along with the traditional porteño pace of life, which is to say that your server will be in no hurry at all to greet you, bring you a menu, or take your order. So, just relax, look around at the interesting mix of people, grab a newspaper or magazine from the bar, and settle in for a nice, long wait.
Bistro style food with simple ingredients and hearty portions
If you are pretty hungry, you might be interested in the fixed lunch menu, which offers a main dish with something to drink and a post-meal espresso. Some of the kitchen’s offerings are pretty creative, such as tuna and mozzarella crepes, roasted rabbit, garlicky chicken with potatoes, or blackened trout with mixed grilled vegetables. You can also find more traditional porteña dishes such as bife de lomo, milanesa, ricotta-stuffed canneloni topped with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella, and barbequed pork with a side of sweet potatoes.
For a healthy but delicious treat, try the warm grilled chicken salad, served with fresh lettuce and cherry tomatoes. Malasartes won’t let you leave hungry after a meal; they serve up generous portions of their hot dishes and their sandwiches are also stuffed with plenty of meat, cheese, and toppings.
Malasartes – a place to be, see, and be seen
The couches in the back are the loungers’ spot at Malasartes. If you come bearing a laptop, sketchbook, journal, chess set, or anything else that might generate conversation, you’ll probably end up making friends with someone sitting nearby you. Most likely it will be a traveler or expatriate filled with the energy of being in Buenos Aires. It’s a good moment to chat about the newest thing you’ve discovered in the city or how many times you’ve almost been run over in the past week.
You can easily cruise through an afternoon just hanging out at Malasartes, nibbling and sipping, chatting and watching, writing and dreaming. The tasteful and uncluttered decoration provide a warm environment to experience leisure time in Capital Federal, and the action of Plaza Serrano around you supplies Malasartes an interesting mix of clientèle.
[Photo Credit: julianrod]
But if you’re looking for fast service, you’ll have to go somewhere else. Cafes such as Malasartes are where you go when you don’t want to be rushed, and the servers will be friendly but still pretty slow to attend to you. When you need the bill, you’ll probably have to wave and call the waiter a few times – but hey, nobody comes to Buenos Aires to be rushed. Just relax, and enjoy the flow.
Location of Malasartes Cafe
Honduras 4999, at Plaza Serrano, Palermo Soho
Tel: 4831 0743 Website: http://www.malasartes.com.ar/