In the street meat hierarchy, hot dogs ain’t got nothin’ on choris.
One of the first places Gaspar took me when I joined him in Buenos Aires was a tiny hole in the wall on Carlos Calvo between Defensa and Bolivar. The walls were plastered with aging photos and notes from satisfied celebrity and average-joe customers, and the place was full of old men with mullets, missing teeth, wandering eyes and dirty piropos. Perhaps not every woman would appreciate such a charming treat. But the smell of garlicky delicious chorizo sausages sizzling on the parrilla is enough to make anyone go a little loco. The chorizo was butterflied, served up on hunks of crusty bread and slathered with chimichurri. Throw in a litro of cerveza, and it was the date of my dreams.
At the risk of stating the obvious, chorizo + pan = choripan, a popular pork sausage sandwich. This chorizo shouldn’t be confused with its spicy Spanish counterpart. Argentine chorizo, like most local food, is far from spicy. Instead it is flavored with garlic and pimentón (Spanish paprika).
We indulge in this local drunk food regularly, rarely bothering with the drunkenness excuse because we are not ashamed to love it sober. During the Feria de San Telmo, the popular street fair on Defensa featuring block after block of antiques and wares from local artisans, several parking lots are converted into choripan-pushing parrillas. El Rey del Chori is one of my favorites. In addition to choripan, most any chori vendor also offers bondiola (a hunk of pork served on a roll) or vacíopan (a hunk of steak served on a roll), both of which are also quite good.
If you’re looking to try out choripan in San Telmo, these are my favorite spots. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you about the potential creepiness of my favorite hole-in-the-wall on Carlos Calvo, mmkay? You may or may not find yourself being smothered in kisses by an intoxicated elderly gentleman sporting a rat tail.
NAMELESS HOLE-IN-THE-WALL – Carlos Calvo between Defensa and Bolivar
EL REY DEL CHORI – Sundays on the corner of Defensa and México