Sincerest form of flattery

19
Nov
2008

The native culinary options in Buenos Aires tend towards the bland (for some reason, most Argentines are highly averse to hot and spicy food of any kind). For that reason, my friend Thomas is always on the lookout for possible restaurants with a bit of picante in the menu, so we decided to try a Mexican restaurant called “Mole” that he had spotted a few times from the bus. One of the risks that one runs from spending a lot of time in places with amazing food is that their equivalents in other countries almost always pale in comparison. The best ones really attempt a fusion of influences from both countries. The food was terribly mediocre, but at least it was a touch spicier than the local fare. And anyway, the company was great and beer is always beer, so you really can’t go wrong with a few of those.

Ultimately I had a lot of fun and shared a trashy night with Thomas, Vagner and Juan Carlos. After dinner, we went to a dragshow/stripshow combo in a seedy bar that smelled of…something organic and yeasty. The drag queen (and the strippers for that matter) were particularly aggressive in confronting and/or involving the audience in the various acts. We all cringed in fear as they approached us, with beseeching expressions that said “Please don’t involve me in this. I am a good person who is kind to animals and children.” As the drag queen accosted the audience members, asking each where they were from, I was somewhat surprised by the heavy presence of Americans in the audience.

I decided that the theme for the night was “imitation”. The food was an imitation of Mexico, the drag queen an imitation of (hefty) womanhood, the “dancers” an imitation of the erotic. None of these things are quite up to their originals, but they tell a fascinating story nonetheless.