The Areco boliches :
After the Parrillas (steak restaurant in Argentina), which we can find in a tour all around us in Buenos Aires, we should consider the “boliches” as a true reflection of the reality today: save by a few nostalgic old timers and their aged customers, their main support in these times.
(Experience the best Foodie Tour in Estancia Buenos Aires)
The small towns and gaucho villages in the pampa and possible the quieter, more traditional outer suburbs of Buenos Aires are hosting many of these boliches.
They do not aspire to be more than modest suppliers of simple food, often offering no more than the days specials plus the possibility of preparing some short order (not always available) to their frequent patrons. In many cases they overlap with the parrillas (steakhouses) because they too have a simple grill to hand.
If not a grill (Argentine barbecue), then a hotplate is a frequent alternative. The fare is very basic, being mainly stews and pasta, with a tour to basic desserts as cheese and membrillo (quince jam) or a flan.
They are the solution for local villagers or a peon working in an Estancia with a very limited budget.
Some boliches are providing some quite simple sandwiches or “picada” (like tapas in Spain) to their customers, just as a perfect excuse to have some drinks (normally cheap liquors) and wine meanwhile. If the customer do not end the whole bottle of wine, it is kept closed by the “bolichero” till next day when the patron will return for the rest.
Some of the normal drinks are quite basic liquors with a high density of alcohol: caña, grapa, ginebra, or “vermouth” like the very popular “fernet”. There is no room for scotch, cognac, etc.
The more ambitious aim a little higher with the objective of luring the truck trade tour on routes and major highways crossing Estancias all over Argentina. Truckers love to eat well and cheaply.
In San Antonio de Areco there are many areco boliches for the gauchos that remain as they were originally: Same decoration, furnitures and belonging to the same family.
Extracted from “El gaucho gourmet” by Derek Foster: Buy the book Gaucho Gourmet
You can enjoy your own stews, picadas and fernet liquor while in one of these Tours in the Pampa Argentina and Estancias: Estancia and gaucho town San Antonio de Areco
For experiencing some sort of old gaucho pulperia bar try this: Day trip to the gaucho Town and Estancia