I go there for the mood more than anything else. Gigantic parlor with walls decked out in aging, charmingly dusty posters of stuff your Argentine grandparents were into when they were your age, big tables full of noisy folks happily chatting and chowing, a long standing-bar for those who just want to grab a bite without sitting down, busy and suited waiters running around with gigantic round wooden cutting boards of steaming hot dinner and 3/4 litro bottles of frosty Quilmes. This place is cool, seriously frikkin’ cool. It just so happens that they have some of the best jamon y queso and pollo empanadas in BsAs (the layered, painfully crispy and flaky kind) and the best fugazzetta pizza I’ve tried so far.
So then, onto the food…
I’m usually not a fan of pizza in general, and typical thick, doughy Argentine, non-a-la-piedra pizza in specific. My experience has consisted of too many let-downs, too many hard to chew bready bases, too many overly-sweet tomato sauces and flavorless fake mozzarella for me to ever willingly order pizza over anything else on an Argentine resto menu. Only here (and a very small, baby hand full of other places) does this hesitation evaporate. What puts this place on the map for me is the quality of the dough, the audible and perfect crunch when one bites through it. And the toppings are well-proportioned and always delicious as well.
My favorite here, hands down, has to be the fugazzetta, a concept I’ve always found very alluring but poorly executed. That crispy-shell but soft-inside pizza base with tons of gooey, delicious cheese (still fake mozzarella but drizzled with a bit of oil and layered GENEROUSLY, making it pretty decent) and a heap of caramelized, slightly burnt onion sprinkled over the top.
The napolitana is a close second. Intensely flavorful, only slightly sweet tomato sauce with just a hint of oregano (not overpowered by it), not too acidic but instead kind of creamy, which is a very pleasant surprise every time. Thin rounds of juicy tomato, mozzarella and herbs sprinkled on top. Same buttery, crunchy dough. A warm and comforting pizza which makes me wish it was winter already so I can cozy up with it.
Third but certainly not least, the jamon y queso con morrones, the only slightly meatier (but somehow that’s okay for my protein-oriented stomach in this case) option. Slippery, a little bit smokey roasted pepper hanging lazily off a bed of gooey cheese (although not as thick as in the fugazzetta so eat it quickly if you don’t want it to harden). Delicious crunchy crust holding it up. Bits of salty, cooked ham slivers peeping out from within the cheese. Bold, tangy little green olive perched on top. What’s not to love?
4 thoughts on “El Cuartito: Recoleta’s Beloved Pizza Parlour”
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omg you have got to try their napolitana roquefort – it converted me to a BA pizza believer! this place is a gem.
yummmmmm!!! let’s go get a fugazetta one day and catch up:)
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