Monday, April 29, 2019

Once You Go Black Pan, You Never Go Back

If you're ever in Cordoba and are craving a mouth-watering burger that will make your toes curl, I recommend Black Pan. It's located in Nueva Cordoba at Av. HipĆ³lito Yrigoyen 419, and they have some fabulous business hours that ignore the Argentine siesta. Trust me! Once you go Black Pan you never want to go back.

Their hours are:
Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. - 12 a.m.
Friday from 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. (AWESOME!!!)
Saturday from 11 a.m. - 1 a.m.
Sunday from 11 a.m. - 12 a.m.

But what makes this place different from all the other burger joints in Cordoba or Buenos Aires? Well, as the name of the restaurant suggests, their buns are black but don't let that weird you out. The aesthetics of this burger may be different from the type of burgers you'd find at most fast food places, but your taste buds will have an out of this world experience.
Once you order at the counter, you'll be given a beeper that will flash once your food is ready. 
In the meantime, you can choose to sit on the ground floor or the second level. If the weather is nice, you can sit in the outdoor dining area, too.
Translation: Think Globally, Eat Locally
They also offer a variety of menu items. You can pick a basic burger or one that has double cheddar, onions, and more. Sadly, they use panceta instead of bacon (and no, it's not the same!) because the latter is pretty tough to find down here. The menu prices are decent too. Just remember these are Argentine pesos, not USD, so don't panic.
Convert any of the menu item prices into USD using this site.

The menu also offers a veggie burger. You can even order a salad, which isn't shown on these menus but can be seen on the overhead menu at the register.
You can also order a variety of differently prepared fries and onion rings as your side. My personal favorite are the nachos! Back home you could go to a Denny's and order yourself a nacho platter with ground beef, cheddar cheese and sour cream. Although Black Bun doesn't offer all that, it does come with cheese and panceta. Oh and by the way, the nachos are also black just like the buns. Unfortunately, the last time we were there, the cashier told us that they might be taking the black nachos off the menu because they're having issues importing them.
If you still have space in your stomach for dessert, Black Pan offers ice cream on a stick. Alright! So it's not exactly over the top, but a sweet treat is a great way to end a dining experience.
But I'll admit, I didn't really want to leave. I love the decor and the fact that the dining area wasn't packed between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. 
There's also something inviting about the interior´s design. This is the kind of restaurant I would have expected to find in B.A. But it was nice seeing it here in our host province of Cordoba.

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it stays in business because that's a tough thing for restaurants to do in the deteriorating Argentine economy.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Your Passport Can Save You Money at Argentine Hotels

So here's how you can use your passport to save money at Argentine hotels. Next time you pay for your hotel stay, make sure to remind the front desk clerk that they shouldn't charge you the 21% tax fee (known as IVA). But this only works if you're a non-native or possess dual citizenship like I do.

We've stayed at the Mundial Hotel several times over the last (almost) 7 years and we saved some cash by showing our passports to the clerk. Once they verified our nationality, the next step was easy.
You'll have to pay with a debit or credit card to take advantage of this tax exemption. But you might find a hotel that will take cash and give you a tax break. This was just our experience with Mundial Hotel.

We paid 15,000 Argentine pesos (344.52 USD) for 5 nights at Mundial Hotel earlier this year and saved about 3,150 Argentine pesos (72.35 USD) with the tax break. When converting it to USD, the difference may not seem like a big deal. But whether you're saving $10 or $70, a discount is a discount. Think about it. You can use that extra 3,150 Argentine pesos to eat at a nice restaurant or buy something you didn't think was in your budget.

I know I wouldn't have blown 5,000 Argentine pesos (114.84 USD) on two items at a comic book store if it hadn't been for that tax discount. But that's a story for next time.