Speaking of awesome pizza places in BsAs, family-owned and proudly historic El Banchero definitely makes the list. A seriously spacious cafeteria on the corner of dusty, deserted Admiral Brown and Suarez which no doubt fills up (or, at least, USED to fill up, in its glory days) with roaring-drunk and joyous Boca Junior fans of all generations and backgrounds looking for a bite to soak up all that pre-, mid- and post-game Boca-sponsoring Quilmes or Pepsi, to celebrate yet another victory. As I caught El Banchero on a quieter day, these voices were converted into echos, making the place almost eery in a way, but in a cool way. Vivacious, penguin-suited waiters chased the tumble-weeds away and there were enough costumers to make the place seem habited, though far from packed.
A bit lost in the 4-page pizza menu, I decided to order the Banchero (with morrones, love those), figuring it was the house special. I could hardly control my salivating as our waiter quartered and served the thing with super-swift motions out of the iron skillet it was baked in and onto the crisp white, labeled plates.
Warm, melty faux-mozzarella, layers of juicy tomato, strips of crunchy white onion, a few tender slivers of roasted red pepper, very little (if any) tomato sauce, zingy green olives (seeded, be careful!) and salty, grainy little anchovies spread carefully on top. Not much seasoning as the flavor of the anchovies would have overpowered this anyway. The base, as in El Cuartito, had a fantastic, all-important crunch.
Simple, comforting, cheap. Although the place has obviously seen better times, the quality of the food has, no doubt, been maintained since then. I don’t really venture down to The Mouth often as I am impartial to the Boca-River rivalry and I openly detest the touristy falsities of Caminito, but if I find myself around there again, I will definitely stop by this place for a slice. Until then I will stick to El Cuartito…
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