El Guacho Aruba
After a long hard day of shopping in Aruba’s historic district, you are going to need a good meal. At the very end of the shopping trail is El Guacho. Its a small place but very full of character. Even though you are on the ground level, its as if you have stepped into an underground wine cellar. The bar is fully stocked, and there is even a separate room for the wine.
They have daily lunch specials, but for me, specials are often a watered down version of the full menu, and often not even a fair representation of what is actually authentic, but often what the common lunch crowd prefers. So, I order from the regular menu. They have red and white wine sangria, but the white (which I prefer) is not ready yet, so I default to the red. And right along they bring some nice garlic bread. I am not sure that this is an Italian or Argentine accompaniment, but I welcome it just the same. I never like to have a drink on an empty stomach.
For appetizers we order the beef empandas. You really can’t order anything with a Spanish name that is more authentic to its roots. It comes with a chopped olive and oil condiment which is delicious. And, these seem to have been baked, not fried, which makes it lighter without the heavy fried oil taste. I should mention that also that came to the table at the same time were other condiments like pickled onions, chimichura sauce and some other type of brown sauce which reminded me most like A1 steak sauce but much thinner, but equally as tasty.
The main course I had to split. There is a lot of food there that can serve two, possibly 3 people. Its the Argentine Mixed Grill which includes beef ribs, pork tenderloin, beef short rib, filet mignon and an Argentine sausage. Its all good, no need for condiments at all. While I thought the pork tenderloin would be the least exciting, it was probably the best piece of meat on the plate, and cooked perfectly.
Along side are the vegetables, roasted potatoes with onions and peppers, corn on the cob and steamed broccoli. All delicious.
To add to the ambience there is great classic Argentine music playing lightly in the background and artwork all over the walls from famous Argentine actors, writers, artists and other noted famous citizens.