Don Zoilo Parrilla
Honorio Pueyrredon 1406, Villa Crespo, Buenos Aires
A step away from the Palermo neighbourhood, this local place is packed by early evenings with families, retired couples and strangely, a lot of asians; and without doubt, the line is out the door during the weekends, all waiting for their weekly taste of familiar old-school service and good food: pastas, salads, meats, and milanesas. Wanting to know what the buzz was all about, we went there a few times to sum out if the experience was worth crossing the fuzzy comfortable vicinity of Palermo and onto the Pueyrredon street of Villa Crespo. So here I was, poking, chewing, chewing some more and contemplating, concluding in my mind that this place was in the ‘good, but not hot enough to blog category’- and just at that moment, a big piece of milanesa slid right onto the table.
Took a bite. And converted.
I like local restaurants and parrillas packed with locals: families, retirees, couples, dads and moms- minus all the tourists. Not just that, the place itself is situated at the bare scattered land of Pueyrredon, holding itself prettily with big windows and a very white storefront. The interior is clean, with natural light shining in, high ceilings, with a brick wall that separates two big dining areas. Dressed in clean white uniforms, the old-men professional service is quick, and to the point, making dining easy for parents with kids. Good for foodies who wants to venture out of Palermo, and who craves a mean milanesa.
What makes this place work is the ambiance, hearty quality portions and tad cheaper prices than Palermo. Though the good food isn’t solely on slabs of meats, their matambrito is one of the best I’ve had: grittily juicy, tender and fatty. Their chorizo was very good; and their Don Zoilo house salad which I am beginning to be addicted to is a must-order: abundance of radicheta, boiled eggs, olives, hard cheese, and palm of hearts. Another visually impressing salad is their Campesina: hill of basils, tomatoes, and mozzarellas. If you have a big stomach (or lots of people), get their well-known pastas: fussilli that looks like worms on a plate, or even the creamy rolls of cannelloni. Oh yes. How can I forget the milanesa? Get it- you won’t regret it; it is 1-inch tad thick, and took over half the table, baked to perfection, and about 43 pesos ($10). I will go back each week just for that dish. Each of the dishes mentioned above are big portions, enough to feed 3 normal stomachs, or 2 gigantic stomachs (us), and then take some home- about 200 pesos ($46) for a group of 3 to eat like a pig: starters, 3 mains, something fried, and drinks (not counting alcohol).
- milanesa: the juicy thick bites of chicken with a thin baked crust
- complimentary little bites when sitting down
- service: fast but good
- great portions and price: half portions can be requested
- matambrito is very good
- rabas is a bit too eggy and the batter too thick although the squid is very fresh
- the bife de chorizo is good, but there are much better places out there
- stray away from the garlic fries, just order their perfectly fried fries
- wine list is normal
- a more of a neighbourhood joint so the servers will give you more attention if they see you more than once- and they remember everyone
- try to go on a weekday
- bring your own ketchup