Naturally, not all lunches are Café Tortoni lunches. Nor would we want them all to be. We've always been pretty open minded about our choices of eating establishments- as long as you serve us good food at a fair price, you've got our seal of approval. In fact, it can be more of a kick for us to find that humble little hole in the wall that blows you away with its quality than to eat with the elite at the latest and greatest culinary shrine. And let's face it, either approach can be a bit of a crap shoot!
Confiteria Los Molinos looks like it's spent many a year on this corner of Avenida Santa Fe, one of Buenos Aires' most egalitarian shopping streets. It's got that blood red and forest green colour scheme that is so pervasive on storefronts and signage in this city, as well as the beautiful varnished woodwork that speaks of a more genteel age when proper joinery was the sign of a quality establishment. Inside, expansive windows and high ceilings with decoratively coffered ceilings and chandeliers suggest that this was once a place to see and be seen.
Unlike Café Tortoni, though, the tourists are not traipsing through Los Molinos with their cameras flashing. Times have changed and these days it is more of an everyman's cafe, serving hearty, abundant and affordable food to weary shoppers and local labourers. (Still, you've gotta love the "table service" of nibbles that arrives with your beverage and ahead of your meal...the crusts are still cut from the bread!)
We had decent Milanesas here, those schnitzels of veal or chicken that seem to fuel this town, along with the ubiquitous fries, and a generous botella of Quilmes.
Wrapped up with a coffee, it was the perfect respite before hopping back onto the avenue!