The Unvegan

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Braised at Gaucho Parrilla Argentina

Not so wood-fired.
Not so wood-fired.

Apparently Pittsburgh is home to one of the most popular spots on Yelp, like, ever. And while I found this out after journeying to the Strip District for some food, I can report that Yelp got this one right. The place is called Gaucho Parrilla Argentina and is an Argentinean steak, sandwich and anything else awesome restaurant without enough seats to handle my immediate family. While the place is all about their wood-fired grill, I actually pursued a different route on my first visit.

Not bad, but not special either.
Not bad, but not special either.

I started things out with a set of beef empanadas that were pretty normal as far as enchiladas go. But I followed those up with the├é┬áRosemary Braised Beef sandwich. This came topped with some horseradish sauce and caramelized onions on a baguette. I ordered without the caramelized onions and while this blew the cashier’s mind and he pushed hard for me to retain the onions, eventually he gave in to my unvegan needs. The good ones always do.

Sauced out.
Sauced out.

The sandwich was ready pretty quickly, but I still had enough time to load up on all four of their sauces beforehand. They had ajo (garlic), chimmi (chimichurri), cebolla (onion) and pimenton (pepper). All of these seemed to come on various sandwiches, just not the one that I had ordered. When the sandwich came out I was ready to try them all along with it. But before I get into that, I should say that this sandwich would have gotten along just fine without any of the sauces.

Braised up real good.
Braised up real good.

It was nice and full of the meat, which was flush with great beefy flavor and just the right amount of rosemary and horseradish sauce. It was so damn tender that the toasted baguette gave it perfect mix of textures. But when it came down to the sauces, one reigned supreme in enhancing the flavor of the sandwich while providing great flavor on its own. This was the chimmi, and if Gaucho decided to start bottling that stuff up and selling it they could probably have a nifty little side business.

Never enough steak.
Never enough steak.

As for my second visit, I decided to pursue the wood-fired route and split the Asado Plate with my buddies, which includes every cut of steak they have. This means Flank, Ribeye, NY Strip, Hanger and Filet. Each was cooked somewhere near medium rare, except the Filet, which had a bit too much brown. While the best cut of steak was the Ribeye, the big winner was the seasoning, which would have made dog food appetizing. The Ribeye was so good, by the way, that we ordered another entire Ribeye steak to split afterwords to complete a solid Bang Bang (look it up).

In short, go to Gaucho. The only thing you’ll regret is not going sooner.