Hot Festival and Desnivel

So another weekend in Buenos Aires and another summer festival was in town. Over the weekend Hot Chip, Phoenix, Scissor Sisters, Massive Attack and Stereophonics were all here. Hot Festival ran for two evenings in the Costanera del Sur but we decided to just buy tickets for Friday. With Phoenix, Yeasayer and Hot Chip all on the bill we were very excited. After Creamfields I was perhaps a little bit more cautious about an Argentinean organized events but I still wasn’t prepared for the disaster that was Hot Festival.

We turned up at 7 ish and everything seemed great, sun was setting, people were milling around and there was a nice atmosphere about the place. So we went in search of beer and the somewhere to soak up the last of the sun. We hopefully followed signs to the beer tent only to find a queue of over hundred people waiting patiently to get in. A quick chat to the bouncer at the front we were told this was the only place to buy a beer and that each person could only but 2 beers for the entire night. What the fu*k? I mean I would love to have been at the meeting where the organizers sat down and said “Hey we could make a load of money from our beer sales or we could put a 2 beer limit for each person and make them queue for hours to drink it”.


The man on the left's only job is to stop people having fun, here's Hugo trying to befriend him.

We eventually got ourselves into the tent, grabbed our two beer allotment, and tried to enjoy ourselves. As the queue to get into the tent was now over an hour long, we weren’t that keen to leave it until we were sure that every last drop had passed our lips. This meant that I watched Girl Talk from the tent, (luckily if he is as much of a prick close up as he is from 100 metres I don’t think we missed much). Mika strutted his way through the usual sort of dross he serves up and then finally Hot Chip were ready to take to the stage and we decided to break free from the concentration camp beer tent.

Hot Chip

Were they worth it? Errrrr, they were ok I guess, not as good as when I saw them at Bestival but still pretty fun, for some reason I was at the front of a sweaty mosh pit which definitely depreciated from my enjoyment but all in all they were pretty good. After realizing that my wallet had been stolen I decided to call it a night there. As we left we could hear the girl from Scissor Sisters screeching “Do you know what popping your cherry is Buenos Aires?” *silence* She continued unabashed “Well we are going to pop your cherry tonight..”. I felt this vindicated my decision to get the fuck out and I didn’t look back. Apparently Phoenix were great but I had lost faith by then and wanted to return to a place without fences.

So where should a grouchy fun sponge go to cheer himself up? There was only two things we wanted: Steak and wine. Luckily we were only a ten minute walk from San Telmo where you have a load of places to choose from that will all be cheap, good and open at midnight. We decided on Desnivel, a great no frills parilla on Defensa, where you can get a decent steak and a bottle of wine for under a 60 pesos.

Gasping we sat down and promptly ordered some chorizo and provoleta (I always like to have this as starter the sausages out here are awesome and the cheese is pretty good too) and two tenderloin steaks with tomato sauce and ham. (Disclaimer we didn’t actually realize that the steak came with said sauce and extras, idiot that I am I failed to notice the second line under the words steak).

When it arrived it took us a minute to realize that our steaks had arrived. We were presented with a giant plate of what looked like chips and sauce, after five minutes of waiting for the steaks to turn up I had a little dig around a low and behold! There they were! Now I would be the first to say that I would probably have preferred to have enjoyed these delicious steaks “sin salsa” but we were so hungry that we didn’t really care. The steaks themselves were tender and delicious and although the sauce came as a surprise it didn’t ruin them at all.


Chorizo and provoleta

There's a steak in there somewhere

See it?

Desnivel is not going to win prizes for the greatest parilla in town but if you want an “authentic” decent parilla experience you can’t really beat it. Great atmosphere, friendly staff and great value for money (all the things severely lacking from Hot festival), I will be back again soon.


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