Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

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Bon Vivant Travels, Part III

December 3rd, 2009 · 5 Comments

Empanadas, Ushuaia, Buenos Aires (again), Iguazu Falls, and Mendoza, Argentina, and Wine Tours

Welcome to our third installment of the bon vivant travels with our good friend Mike Addison, including several email correspondence updates. This time around Mike tells us of some empanadas that are done the Argentine way, and then continues his travels to Buenos Aires (again), Iguazu Falls, and Mendoza, Argentina. So let’s pick up where we left off from our previous installment. A follow-up email highlighting Milanesa and Las Tartas ends this segment. Note: Click on images for a larger view.

From: Michael Addison
Sent: Saturday, October 31, 2009 12:41 PM
To: Ryan Boudreaux
Subject: Empanadas

Hey Ryan,

Empanadas are like turnovers with any kind of filling you want to add. Most though, here in Argentina, are either meat, vegetable, or cheese. I always ask for the meat (carne)…it’s quite good. 

Here is a link with pics: Argentine Empanada’s

Here is a link to how to make them the Argentine way 

Hope you like it.


From: Michael Addison
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 10:27 AM
To: Ryan Boudreaux
Subject: Ushuaia, Buenos Aires (again), Iguazu Falls, and Mendoza, Argentina

Hey All,

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written. Things come up, schedules changes, and finally, I was able to remember to go to a camera store and back up the photos from my card onto a DVD. I didn’t want to risk losing the pics to a virus again, thus the back-ups were necessary. 

City of Ushuaia imageSo, the last time I wrote I was in Calafate (deep into the southern Patagonia region of Argentina). I mentioned that the following day I would be going to Ushuaia, the southern most tip of the country, a.k.a. the end of the world. The city is situated immediately next to the water (which if you continue south, takes you to Antarctica), with a beautiful harbor on the front side and a magical slew of snowy (not just snow-peaked, but in many cases totally snow-covered, mountains) just behind the city. I actually flew from Calafate to Ushuaia and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such beautiful scenery as the plane floated over the Andes and descended towards the city. City of Ushuaia imageI immediately took a cab to the one of Lonely Planet’s recommended hostels (a short drive, as Ushuaia is a small town) in the city center. Two pics show the city and water from my room at the hostel. I grabbed a room and signed up for a boat tour, which took off from the harbor at 3pm. There were 5 others in the group…really cool people, and we went to some large rock/small land formations in the water where we saw a multitude of sea lions. It was cold (but not bitter cold) and the wind gusts could literally knock you down. Local Bar image Nevertheless, it was such a beautiful day too. We all had such a great time that after the 2-hour tour we decided to take in some beers at a local bar (group shot pic attached) and then had an asado (BBQ) for dinner. A very full, but great day.
The following day (Friday, Oct. 30th), I took a plane back to B.A., arriving at 5pm. I was not planning to stay in BA again, as you know; I had already been there previously for a week. Nevertheless, in order to get to my next destination, Iguazu, I had to pass through BA again. I decided to stay for a few days as my friend Aaron (mentioned in my first email) was still there, about to complete his Spanish studies and continue his travels. He is a very cool dude, and had booked some tennis for us on Saturday (playing on red clay courts). He also got tickets to see an outdoor rock festival on Sunday featuring the newly reunited Faith No More. I really dig them, and thought it would be so cool to see them while in BA. After arriving back into BA Friday night, Aaron and I went out to dinner in the Recoleta district of BA (kind of a rich/snazzy area, but quite affordable restaurants). The night was electric, as everyone was in a festive mood…people walking, laughing, and having fun on this Friday night. We ate at an exquisite Italian restaurant—the pasta and wine were outstanding. We did not stay out late, as we had the tennis the following morning.

Saturday began with clouds and then the rain fell, just as we were about to get on the tennis court for our showdown (Aaron played college tennis…he might have had the upper hand). Fortunately, my game is still solid. 🙂 I really wanted to play. Rats. Saturday night we decided to take a night to stay up all night, hitting the clubs and dancing well into the morning. We first had the most delicious steaks for dinner in a cool district called Palermo. Then we saw a live band at a local club (played covers from American rock bands). Then we went to a massive club called Crobar and danced until 6am (no idea how I was able to stay awake).  
Music Festival Concert imageSunday was a highlight as Aaron, another guy (Esteban, from BA), and I went to the music festival to see some of Argentina’s best rock bands…ending with Faith No More. Mike Patton, the lead vocalist was in stellar form as he belted out Epic, Falling to Pieces, and Ashes to Ashes. A few songs from the show are on YouTube…check it out. I’ve attached some pics of the show. This was the first show–and I’ve been to many in my life–where I was genuinely concerned for my welfare. It was freakin´nuts. I was able to get up near the stage, but when the band came out…we were crushed against the stage, and then I was sucked into a mosh pit. I was able to duck blows and get out of the pit. Although it truly was insane, I was also thinking how cool it was to be in BA, getting crushed/ducking fists and watching Faith No More put on a kick-ass show. 
Water falls imageMonday, Nov. 2 was a chill day; however, it was also the day that Aaron and I left BA. It turned out that Aaron and I both had plans to go to Iguazu (NE Argentina, next to Brazil and Panama) and see the world famous—and absolutely stunning–water falls. So we decided to go together, and caught a bus that departed in the evening. Aaron had befriended a French guy at the hostel…cool guy named Jeremie, and he also joined us. It was quite a bus ride (15 hours), but these long-haul buses are so amazingly comfortable. You can recline your chair to an almost horizontal angle…so you basically have a bed at night. You are also served food and beverages (just like a plane flight), and movies were shown on the overhead LCD screens. Iguazu Falls image Iguazu Falls is simply amazing and blows away Niagara Falls. It’s an almost spiritual experience as you can get up close to these truly thunderous avalanches of water dropping from a long row of cliffs. It’s really something to behold. You will see pics of this as well.


Mendoza Wine tour image
On Thursday, we parted ways as Aaron, Jeremie went to Brazil, and I flew to Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina. It is also the coolest town I’ve come across in Argentina. It’s has a breathtaking backdrop of the Andes, amazingly beautiful weather everyday, and wide streets and sidewalks with huge birch (I think) trees that stretch out and over the wide streets. People here seem so happy and satisfied…there’s a certain Joie de Vivre that is quite palatable here. Oh yes, there are beautiful parks and plazas…and it seems every night (I’ve been here 4 nights) there has been some live music playing on those parks and plazas. One of the streets, Villanueva, has a plethora of high quality outdoor cafes and restaurants. With the pleasant weather, you cannot beat hanging out at one of the cafes. Outdoor Cafe imageI went on a wine tour a couple days ago…rented a bike with a group of people and hit a few bodegas. I met 3 other people on the tour (Roman and his wife Lenore from Poland and a tough, yet cool San Diego beach volleyball player chick named Jennifer). We all had a great time sampling the great wines of this region. My favorite is the Malbec (the Trumpeter rules). You will see a pic of us sampling wine at a table. I rented my bike from a dude named Mr. Hugo, and when you return his bikes at the end of the day, he will pour you endless glasses of wine until you leave. There is a pic of Mr. Hugo and I…very cool dude this guy. 

 Yesterday two guys I met at the hostel (Tim and Rob from the UK), a German tomboy (Lena), and I went to one of Mendoza’s attractions, the Hot Springs (thermal pools). These naturally heated pools were so cool to visit. They are on the foothills of the Andes and are so relaxing. Upon our return, some guys and I went to a cafe and chilled out, playing cards and sipping beers (another pic attached).
Today I’m finally leaving Argentina and taking a bus to Chile (Santiago) for a few days. After Chile, I’ll go to Bolivia (may hire a tutor in La Paz and study Spanish for a week…won’t be too expensive as Bolivia is very affordable). Then I’ll continue north to Peru and Colombia. Brazil will be my final destination…ending my S. America tour on Jan. 15. 

Here’s the link to the pics (thanks Michele for your Snapfish idea!). Let me know if you have problems viewing it. SnapFish

Got to go now…Take care everyone! I will write sooner next time.


I asked Mike if he wouldn’t mind getting me some more information about some of the home made foods he was served earlier on in the trip and he responded with this email, here is the tread copied below:

From: Michael Addison
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 8:13 AM
To: Ryan Boudreaux
Subject: RE: Ushuaia, Buenos Aires (again), Iguazu Falls, and Mendoza, Argentina

Hey Ryan!

Sure thing… is one that was made for me, called Milanesa (a breaded steak, very popular in Argentina). Sorry I do not have a picture of us eating it, but will keep this in mind in the future. Milanesa

A second one which is popular is las tartas, it reminds me of quiche….I will send you a photo, but in the meantime….here is some info about it, and pics. Las tartas


From: Ryan Boudreaux
To: Michael Addison
Subject: RE: Ushuaia, Buenos Aires (again), Iguazu Falls, and Mendoza, Argentina
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 16:02:53 -0500


Hey dude! Snapfish works great; I already have an account with them! Hope you take more photos of foods that you eat, or ones of you and your friends eating food too! Also, you said that one of your couch surfing folks cooked a lot of traditional Argentine food, can you explain that in more detail.

Have a great one,



Join us next time when we get Mike’s next update from Chile (Santiago, Valparaiso, Quintay, San Pedro de Atacama).

Tags: Bon Vivant · Travel

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gera @ SweetsFoods // Dec 3, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve visited several of these places they’re amazing!
    You make me wonder empanadas, again!



  • 2 ninni // Dec 3, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    nice places,but not nice like my country….i am joking of course!!Nice post,thank you for sharing!

  • 3 Trix // Dec 4, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Until I can afford to travel like this, it’s pretty cool to experience it this way. What a beautiful place … and the food!!! Oooh-weee.

  • 4 foodlovee // Dec 5, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Niagara Falls is a dream to go there at least once.

  • 5 penny aka jeroxie // Dec 6, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Thanks for sharing. Seems like such a great experience. I hope to backpack and travel like that one day 🙂