Cheap Eats: La Estancia Argentina

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Where: La Estancia Argentina, 17870 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura. (305) 932 6477

What $15 gets you: prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich, your choice of sides, drink, and dessert.

La Estancia Argentina isn’t just a restaurant. It’s actually also a general store, which specializes in Argentinean food. The whole concept is strangely inviting, it reminded me of eating at the neighborhood bodega sans the loud salsa music.

Keeping the $15 budget in mind, I browsed through their menu which consists of breakfast, sandwiches and soups. The sandwiches were all pretty inexpensive; I don’t believe a single one passed the 8 dollar mark. I ordered a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich and my friend ordered a skirt steak sandwich. We both ordered a side of rice.

We browsed through the drinks (you have to get them yourself) while we waited for our food. In big freezers, like the ones in the supermarket, glass bottles of Coke and Pepsi were lined up. I chose a soda called Guarana, which tasted a little like cherry. There is also a selection of wine but being that we were on a budget, we didn’t even look in that direction.

The sandwiches looked small, but looks can be deceiving. By the time I finished my first half I was pretty full only to look down on my plate and see the entire other half waiting for me. My sandwich was stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella. I have never eaten a sandwich with so much cheese in it. It looked as if the sandwich was neatly arranged, but there was no way to hide the thick slices of mozzarella hanging from the sides. My friend commented on how thick the slices of steak were. Next time I come I think I’m ordering one of those.

“You’re full and yet you don’t feel sluggish afterwards, it’s great” my friend Levi said.

I forgot to order mine without mayonnaise, but thankfully they only give it a light coating of the stuff and I actually didn’t mind it. The rice was just white rice; it wasn’t heavily salted so it made for a good appetizer.

The restaurant offers a variety of empanadas and dessert treats like cakes and other pastries but we were too full to eat another bite.

Final Verdict: I’d recommend La Estancia Argentina for a good lunch. One thing though, do not expect to be seated. You go right up to the counter to order your food. It’s like a fast food joint (you even order your dishes by number), in that respect. The place is good if you want to pick up the ingredients to make Argentinean cuisine in your own home, although that may run you more than $15.

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