So. A large percentage of Porteños are of Italian descent. I’m assuming this is why pizza is a thing in Buenos Aires.
(Porteños means “people of the port” — this is what residents of Buenos Aires are called… like, you know, instead of calling them “Buenos Airians” — yeah, that just sounds… not right).
So, we looked up “best pizza in Buenos Aires”, and we were directed to El Cuartito:
Turns out, it was just a block from our hotel. How very convenient!
It also turns out, El Cuartito is unspeakably popular. If it’s anywhere NEAR the times of lunch or dinner, there will be a line right out the door and up the block. We got to see this line as we walked by it many times. Those were not the times we dined there. Actually… I should correct myself. It wasn’t so much a line as it was just a crowd of people trying to get in. I’m not sure how they decide who’s going next… but I got the distinct impression that the apparently very Canadian notion of an orderly line is a laughable, archaic idea in Buenos Aires… and in fact in much of the world. Not that the people are rude… they’re not. Somehow it all works. For them. Maybe I’ll get the hang of it if I keep traveling.
Anyhow! One day we were walking back to our hotel, and for BLOCKS I felt a woman was chasing us. We kept going faster and faster… she kept going faster and faster. It was freaking me OUT. And then we rounded the corner and saw the mob of people outside El Cuartito. A-ha! Mealtime! She joined the crowd… and we crossed to the other side of the street because we couldn’t even pass on the sidewalk, such was the crowd at El Cuartito. People were streaming over from all corners of the city, or so it seemed.
But, in spite of its popularity and our desire to avoid that sidewalk-clogging crowd, we did dine at El Cuartito twice. And it was AMAZING. AMAZING. SOOOOOOOO AMAZING. I’m pretty much dying to eat one of their pizzas even now as I type.
The interior reminded us of a New York pizzeria. Full of character, and the servers were efficient and surly. No time for niceties. That’s okay, we didn’t come for a hug. We came for tasty, mouthwatering pizza!
I was watching the servers, always hoping they’d bring our pizza. Andrew was observing my crazy hair.
And then… it arrived. Oh heavenly delights, it arrived! Our pizza! See how puffy it is? As light as air! But with lots of cheese and meat piled on, of course. And garnished with peppers and olives. It was the “grande”. If you’re just with one person… don’t get the “grande”. This was a mistake. It was too much.
I get a whole different kind of happy when there’s delicious pizza in front of me.
Yeah, I said the “grande” was too big for two people… but that didn’t stop us from finishing it off. Because it’s TOO DELICIOUS.
The counter people order their lunch-pizzas at. Oh I die. I want that right now! Also, check out the cute little granny getting a pizza. She knows what’s up.
So yeah… the “grande” is WAY too much for two people. But we were sooooo hungry when we ordered. And then it was soooooo tasty that we actually ate the entire thing. WORTH IT.
And then… several days later, we returned!
See that window behind Andrew? People kept stopping there and looking in. It was hilarious. To me.
This is how I look when I’m waiting for pizza.
The pizza! It has arrived!!!!!
I wrote in my journal: “We returned to El Cuartito for more ridiculous pizza. This time we didn’t get the grande… this time just the chico. Finished it, but just barely. This one had lots of onions on it, and cheese mixed with cream cheese. BRILLIANT.”
And even now, I’m dying for another chance to eat this luscious pizza.
If you’re ever in Buenos Aires… you really should go to El Cuartito. Tell ’em Erin sent you! Ha, just kidding, don’t do that. They won’t care. But your tastebuds will care — and they’re the ones that REALLY matter.