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Growing up, I couldn’t wait for Sunday night. That’s when my father would cook dinner. My mother was an extraordinary person –a Master’s degree from USC, a member of the Red Cross team that followed Patton’s Third Army through Europe during World War II – but the woman could barely boil rice. Our weekly menu usually revolved around Swanson’s Salisbury steak frozen dinners and canned chop suey. But on Sundays, everything changed. Dad would don his grease-stained apron, flash his special set of stainless-steel tongs, and throw a couple of thick porterhouse steaks on the backyard grill. Oh, how this man loved a great steak. And his steaks were the best steaks I ever had in my life.
That is … until I went to Argentina.
I had arrived in Buenos Aires several years ago with moderate jet lag and a major appetite. I purposely hadn’t eaten in almost 24 hours so I would be significantly hungry and might actually finish an early dinner – something I don’t do very well the older I get. I asked around and chose the nearest parilla with the best reputation: Los Remolinos on Calle Sulpacha in Retiro. “Great steaks – what’s more …” But I stopped everyone right there. The other reasons didn’t matter. I knew steaks were legend in this corner of the planet and that’s what I wanted. A steak. A great steak.