Ah, brunch. Buenos Aires hasn’t always done it right, but we’re getting there. After months of neighbors (or, just myself) clamoring for a little Sunday loving in Retiro, Farinelli at Arroyo has just started a brand-spankin’ new Brunch Extravaganza – and I gotta say, it’s pretty damn amazing.
The location is great: A bright, sunny corner of quiet Retiro with giant windows that are ideal for people-watching / stalking while you sit down and get settled. I like some booth action, but there are large tables in the middle that accommodate groups a bit better, though once the place is packed there isn’t a lot of room to spare. Fresh blooms from Florería Atlántico adorn the countertops and the day’s spread of fresh goodies – fruit salad, croissants, and the Bloody Mary bar (score!) – are poised to make your mouth water.
The menu itself covers a nice range of brunch classics. French Toast, pancakes and waffles will satisfy those in need of a serious carb fix, while protein freaks will love the array of eggs (fried, scrambled, omelet) and sides that can be mixed and matched. One of the best bits? Real bacon, folks. Hallelujah praise the lawd. If you’re more in the mood for the “unch” side of brunch, there’s a bacon cheeseburger, a shrimp “burger” and a few sandwiches to keep you happy as well. It’s worth mentioning they’ve got Tabasco and maple syrup in spades. No more pancakes & honey for you.
With all this food, you’re going to need to wash it down with something fabulous. You’re in luck, as the cocktails are from next-door neighbor Florería Atlántico (BFFs) and are the perfect libation for the occasion. If it’s early, order the Bloody Mary, and if you’re rolling in a bit later in the day, an Aperol Spritz will not let you down. There is also a short but quality list of wines available if you want to keep it classy.
Funnily enough, ours was the first ever table to inaugurate this new brunch event, so I awkwardly screamed at everyone working there “FELIZ BRUNCH!” like I was some kind of zany neighborhood cheerleader. Hey, it’s a big deal. Brunch has made it to my ‘hood and I’m going to celebrate! Service was great – to be honest, much friendlier than usual and super efficient. Our dessert was delayed quite a bit and they were kind enough to take it off the check, something unexpected and not typical for BA customer service.
And the food? Yum city, I tell ya. Perfectly cooked fried eggs, nice crispy bacon, and that cheeseburger was one of the best I’ve had in the city. The fries were not piping hot, which I thought was strange, but I’ll chalk it up to first day jitters and the fact that they probably don’t have the timing down yet. Everything was fresh, well-seasoned and overall fabulous.
So here’s the deal: This Sunday funday brouhaha takes place from 11am-4pm only, with reservations available only for the 1pm time slot. It was pretty quiet when we arrived (11:15, hello, I was raised to be punctual), but by the time mid-day rolled around things were poppin’. Let’s not even mention the scene at 3pm – Tables bursting with hipsters and families alike, and sad people outside being told that they couldn’t be guaranteed a table before things wound down.
Arroyo 900, Retiro
Sunday Brunch 11am-4pm
Reservations recommended for Brunch