Chubut Province – Trelew – Places to Eat & Drink
Please see my previous post for things to see and do in Trelew.
Here’s a Google map with all the places mentioned, and more.
My best meal in Trelew was at La Casona (Intermediate B) on Lewis Jones street 155, opposite Plaza Centenario. It’s a parrilla that the hotel receptionist directed me to after I discovered that El Viejo Molino (Lonely Planet’s top pick) had closed down. I kicked off with a couple of favourites (B+).
Patagonia is famous for its lamb and the chops I had here weren’t very photogenic but they didn’t need to be (B+). I was there for Sunday lunch and they have an all-you-can-eat parrillada, which I’m sure is fine, but I really wanted a change from beef.
The bottle of 2013 Malbec ‘Altos de Plata’, recommended by the gruff but polite owner, was very good too (B+) as was the glass of Dulce Cosecha by Trapiche (B) I had with my (forgotten) dessert. My bill came to $495, about £35.
The only other place I would recommend is the historic Hotel Touring Club at 240 Avenida Fontana. It was Patagonia’s fanciest hotel when it was built in 1896, although you wouldn’t think that now.
The hotel rooms aren’t particularly nice according to Lonely Planet but there’s a huge old bar room that’s open to the public.
I popped in for a glass of Reserva de San Juan cognac (B) and to look at the black and white photos of Trelew in the last century that cover the walls.
Apparently Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid stayed here once in 1901 when they were on the run. You can see Cassidy’s room but I doubt if the contents were really his.
Places I went to and didn’t particularly like:
In the same building as the beautiful Spanish theatre at 247 25 de Mayo is Sugar (Intermediate C), which at the time I went was the Trip Advisor #1 restaurant in Trelew. However that doesn’t mean much in a town whose culinary landscape is as bleak as the steppes that surround it. I don’t even usually look at TA but that shows how desperate I was.
I got great service but the Thali de Cordero I had (desperately seeking a change from bland Argentine food and hoping for a taste of home, thanks to a positive TA review) was kind of edible but I just couldn’t finish it. I wasn’t keen on the weird ‘rice’ and defrosted mini chapattis that came with it either (all C-/D). The strange addition of fresh bean sprouts on the top of the rice made me wonder about the chef’s knowledge of food geography.
The soggy Manzana Tatin (apple pie) with a scoop of Dulce de Leche ice cream (usually a favourite) also failed to satisfy (C). With a Quilmes beer the bill came to a cheap $224. You might have better luck if you stick to local dishes.
Le Petit (Intermediate C), the TA#2 at Moreno 445 (open Monday, hallelujah!) isn’t much better. Their star dish was basically a meat sandwich of overcooked Bife de Chorizo containing sun-dried tomatoes, pancetta and cheese. Yet again I couldn’t finish it.
The recommended red was drinkable enough though (B-). With a couple of mediocre limoncellos (C) my bill came to a paltry $234, or £24. The service was pleasant enough and the surroundings are ok and it seems very popular at the weekends. Again, you might fare better with different choices.
Miguel Angel (Intermediate C) at Avenida Fontana 246 (TA#3, LP and teacher recommended, closed Monday) had similarly pleasant service and décor but the Milanesa and salad I had were unimpressive (C). The bottle of Malbec, Postales del Fin del Mundo was ok (B). The bill came to $228. It’s handy for Hotel Touring Club which is right next door.
Places I didn’t get to try:
I did walk past La Bodeguita (TA#5 at Belgrano 374) but its harsh lighting and an unfavourable review put me off. LP also recommends El Quijote, a parrilla at Belgrano 361, and Venezia bakery and heladeria at 25 de Mayo 21, and for drinking Margarita Bar at Fontana 230 and San Javier at San Martin 57. They might be good places but somehow I doubt it…
I spent one night at the Residencial Rivadavia (a hostel at Rivadavia 55) in a cramped room with basic shower facilities and intermittent wi-fi. The ladies working there were nice enough but I didn’t like the young guy who is the night porter. Maybe he needs to get more sleep because he was miserable as sin when I was there. Breakfast involves a bland coffee and a couple of medialunas (Argentinean croissants).
After that I moved next door for three nights at the Libertador which is much more upmarket. I had a spacious room which allowed for my exercise routine and the bathroom, wifi and breakfast are ok. The young female receptionist who recommended the parrillas is excellent but the rest of them are pretty barking mad.
All in all then Trelew is probably a good place to go on a diet! Or if the pleasure hasn’t paled by now, go for yet another meal in a parrilla. Should you want to picnic in your room instead (I wouldn’t blame you) there’s a large Carrefour on the corner of Rivadavia and 9 de Julio, a couple of blocks down the hill from the hotels.