El Gaucho, Argentine Grill – Arbua

DSC_0339Let’s face it men, we get screwed in life. God gave us two things in life. Steakhouses and strippers. Women get everything else – shopping, clothes, jewelry, shoes, flowers, coach bags, venti mocha lattes, makeup, the list goes on and on. Go get engaged, what is it now, 9 months salary expected to buy a ring. I don’t know a guy that wears a wedding ring that cost more than two hundred bucks. Then get divorced, see what happens. But hey we still have great steakhouses to try out.

Cool little guy we found in the doorway

Cool little guy we found in the doorway

This March my girl (hopefully still) had to get off this Island and get to some nice hot weather, sea breezes and Balashi beer. We went to Aruba a popluar destination for islanders and people from the Boston area. You can fly direct to Aruba which I think is key. El Gaucho is a popular steakhouse in Aruba and it’s easy to find out why once you have been.

The restaurant is located in the downtown area, so if you are staying at the hotel area you need a rental car or a cab. It’s in the area behind the Renaissance Mall. This is a do not miss restaurant if you visit Aruba. This was my third visit to this place and it has been consistent every time. We walked in and were greeted with two smiling faces on a professionally dressed host and hostess. We did not have a reservation but if you have a lot of people in your party I would recommend one. The place is big but always busy.

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Mariachi Singers

The first thing you notice about El Gaucho is how cool the atmosphere is. Check out the little roof thing they have set up and cow-like round seats. It’s got an old time steak house feel to it. We sat down and I think within four seconds someone was over saying hello and filling up our water glasses. The service throughout the entire meal was impeccable. Every server was smiling and happy to be serving. They do a great job at making you feel welcome and that they are thankful you are there. Kind of like the Vineyard the dress can be casual to upscale. Sandals and tee shirts are fine as are button down shirts and shoes.

To start off with we split the ceasar salad. I knew they fed you well here so I didn’t get a big appetizer. Even the ceasar was large enough to split. Romaine lettuce, home made croutons, anchiovy, shaved parmesan and ceasar dressing. The ceasar was fresh and very tasty. They serve you delicious warm bread with your meal also.

Argentine Grill

Argentine Grill

For the main course I had to go with the Argentine Grill. The Argentine Grill is a special dish from Argentina: consisting of 5 different selected meats: tenderloin, pork sausage, ribs, pork loin & beef short ribs. It was very good. It wasn’t over the top good, not like a Ruth Chris or Flemings, but it was very good. Cooked well and tasty. What’s great about this place is the sides actually come with your meal. None of this a-la-carte crap where they get you 8 bucks for 4 pieces of asparagus. The meal comes with THREE sides. I got corn on the cob, mushrooms and fried plantains. When is the last time you went to a restaurant and THREE sides came with your meal ?? Most maybe come with two, but the high end ones will get you 50 bucks just for the steak and the rest is all extra.

My girl got the carribean seafood combo. It was conch, squid, shrimp and fish. I tried the conch and squid and liked it. She liked her meal but wasn’t overly impressed by it. This is a steakhouse. Get a steak, skip the seafood. I never find Caribbean Seafood as good as New England Seafood anyways. Warm water seafood just doesn’t have the same sweet taste.

During our meal our glasses of water were never empty. The manager come over and introduced herself, asked how everything was and even genuinely thanked us for choosing El Gaucho this evening. When’s the last time you got that kind of treatment in an American Restaurant. A little goes a long way. Just the manager coming over and saying that was very nice to hear. I want to feel like I am appreciated when going to spend my hard earned money somewhere and El Gaucho certainly did that. The price is very reasonable here also. Both meals including the sides were around $40.00. Salad, drinks and tip you can get out of here for less than $150 per couple with a fantastic meal and you will probably have leftovers for lunch the next day!

El Gaucho web site

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