I refused to be sucked in. This is a tourist trap - no other way around it. The prices are jacked sky-high. It's full of tourists and not the real thing. I would rather go to the parillada around the corner that serves up a mean parilla, perhaps even better than I can find in Mercado del Puerto. I am not one of those touristy tourists that fall for this sort of set up.
Well, I ate (literally at times) my words - Mercado del Puerto rocks! Two friends of mine invited me to lunch yesterday around 1 p.m. When we walked in, the place was already jumping. The Port Market is made up of around 10 restaurants with open seating inside of the same building. It makes for a scene out of a movie (or a show, as Anthony Bourdain's timeless TV program was here a few months ago).
But I didn't hear even one other conversation in English (besides ours) - these were all either locals enjoying the Christmas season, or Argentines coming over to spend their Argentine peso and relish the market. Either way, it was brilliant.
After eating cheese soaked on top of some delicious forms of beef (which didn't matter, it was all so good there was no need to check what the cheese was covering), we decided to hit up a bar outside. Mind you, I had my race scheduled for 8 p.m., so I couldn't "live it up". That one lasted for a solid 5 minutes.
Reminiscent of Marti Gras outside of the market, people danced, drank, hugged, said hellos (like our new friends in the picture - notice their bottles in the street) and soon enough the candombe crew with their beautiful Brazilian-like dancer came by. The day was a beauty - as fantastic as I have had in years.
And no, I didn't make the race...but I had no hard feelings - it was well worth it.