Los Cardones

No one comes for the cheap wine—it’s the folclórico music that brings the crowds

Los Cardones, courtesy of the official web site

This is a real folclórico experience, in a real peña. The whole audience, it seems, is made up of people transplanted from Salta (the northernmost province of Argentina), the source of traditional Argentinean gaucho music. After a performance by bands from the folclórico provinces, like Salta, ends around 1 a.m. (give or take an hour), the crowd passes the guitar and sings, plays and dances for hours.

The cheap wine’s not so good, but the experience is one you’ll definitely want at least once. It’s traditional Argentinean gaucho music–as good as you’ll get in Buenos Aires, if you ask me. Order the té de coca, a tea made with cocaine plant leaves. Don’t freak out: You might get a bit of a caffeine buzz, but you won’t feel the effects of cocaine. Mine workers in those northern provinces chew hoards of coca leaves to keep them awake for long shifts. They also offer empanadas, made in the salteña style (the way they do them in Salta). Give it a try!

J. L. Borges 2180 at Paraguay, 54-11-4777-1112. Reservations not necessary.
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