Their Satanic Majesties Request
After soccer comes the asado aka bbq here in Argentina. It may be a distant second, but nevertheless a pillar of the culture. The meat here is exquisite. There really is no comparison to give. Who would of thought that local, grass fed animals turn out butterly delicious! Especially when you put the little ones in a cage and feed them until they can barely walk, so that meat stays nice and tender. My favorite spot to have an asado is club Mitre which is down by the river. You pay 5 pesos to use the facilities, and you have a TON of grills, bathrooms, sinks, tables, a beer and ice vendor, pretty much anything you could ever want in life. There are two parts to the complex, an outside sick as f*** part and an inside pretty sweet still part. First come first serve, so get there early. I was usually in charge of reserving the area...and yes, I held it down.
With Mike and the Oregon crew we had five asados, all BOMB as fuzz, but after trials and tribulations we figured out that the outside is way better. My inaugural asado was great. It was 10:30 pm on a friday night and I was caught napping, charging the batts for the night to come. I get a phone call from Jeff saying ¨Scott, I am at an asado down by the river. I looked around and thought, wait, why isn´t Scott here. So I`m calling you to get down here.¨ What a guy. I told him I was almost ready....just had to put my shoes on, and with two shakes of a lamb´s tail I was off.
As I made my way to the group my nostrils were inundated by the sweet sweet smell of flesh on grill action. It was like I died and went to an all meat products go to heaven. There were a ridiculous ammount of people and an even more ridiculous ammount of mean that was being flame kissed to perfection. Now all the merryment wasn´t just being had by our group oh no, the party went deep into the haunted swamp where stray cats play with empty beer bottles and howl at the yellow moon. I`d say there was anywhere btwn 150-200 people, celebrating anything from the sky being blue, to another year of life. Drinks and eats as far as the eye can see. By far the best thing to do in Rosario is come down to club Mitre here in Rosario. Everyone is in a great mood, impossible not to meet a ton of peeps, music, cards, games, makeout sessions, owl fights, anything is fair game. It`s one big party and everyone`s invited!!!!!
Asado numero uno was organized by a guy in Mike`s group and I`d guess roughly thirty gringos showed up. An awesome time, but you know me, I get stimulation overload, too many things going on at once, very hard for me to focus....Asado dos was a different story. Mike, Jeff, Dane, Ricky Rico, Brian and myself were the only ones in attendance. We made a reservation, but managed to misunderstand the reservation process and got there too late and had to settle for a table that was inside. We then bounced to the store to get the fixins.....ribs, chorizo, steaks, salt, chimichuri, quilmes, and old smuggler. One part meat, one part salt, and one cup of beer are the ingredients for delightfulness.
After the shopping spree we got back to Club Mitre and went to find our table....apparently it had our name on it. By this time it was pushing 9ish and SHI was getting packed. Of course my name was nowhere to be found, and all of the tables were either filled or reserved with OTHER peoples names. We were walking in circles with bags of food in hand and the lost puppydog faces in full effect. I was ordered by our posse to right this wrong, and find someone in charge to help us the fuzz out. I came back with the cavalry and he got us all situated, pulling a table from who knows where, chairs and all. The next step was finding space on one of the grills, because again, it is first come first grill. A simple question....¨Can we grill here?¨ This grills taken, next one, taken, taken, taken, can´t sit here, and then like an angel of death, a sweaty, hairy, potbellied, shirtless beast of a man with skull and demon tatooes, swirling with fiery mayhem says, ¨You can grill here if you want¨ And it was like old times again, we were like peas and carrots this death metal savior and I. He had a gigantic mug of frosty brew, sweat dripping down his face, and pierciengs everywhere...and i mean EVERYWHERE!
The charcoal situation is a little different down here...not that tame, weak ass Kingsford that`s used in the suberbs. I`m talking about snap, crackle and pop hot ashes in your face man charcoal like what we got down here. An old argentine asado saying is ¨if you aren`t getting burned, you are using the wrong charcoal¨. The marketing scheme is ridiculous, ¨second degree burns, or your money back¨ That`s cooking with fire....and so were we. Every time the coals errupted, Slayer would squint his eyes, rais his right fist into the air with his index and pinky fingers flying high, wolfpack style, stick his tongue down to his chin, and headbang and hiss at the fire.....probably offering his soul to the fire gods and loving every second of it.
By this time my shirt is off too, chest hair singed, and sweat making the ever so gentle run from head to toe. Unfortunately we have a very minimal ammount of coals, and no newspaper or wood to get things going and the lost puppydog faces came back with a vengence. Definitely out of our element. If this had been Salem, Mass 1692 we would have been burned at the cross for witchcraftery because only the truly damned would dare to venture into a setting so fiery and savage armed with insufficient commodities holding on to the hope that their love for BBQ and Beer could tame the beast of an argentine asado.
Lucky for us the fire eating slam dancer was more than hospitable, down right friendly, and took us under his wing of demonic pleasures. It was now his goal to master not one, but two asados. When I told him that I would be happy to help he stared me dead in the eye, venturing into my inner-most being, and said ¨No, this is my calling.¨ So I let him be....besides, who am I to argue with a large man, holding an iron prod, making their satanic majesties request to the fire. He was handling the meat for a group of 25, so in all honesty, what was a kilo of ribs, some chorizo and steak gonna do to this guy? That´s right, it is exactly what Hirosan had in the box........NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The food turned out fantastic, the gringos had been saved once again, we got our smugg on, and would live to see another hot asado day and another steamy asado night.
Weeks later, we got the asado itch again. Call it a fever. I went down to reserve a spot, and this time I felt like I knew a thing or two about hot to have an asado. I got lucky and found a spot, just so happened to be 5 ladies mobbing on a grip of tables right next to mine, and they kept telling other people that they were going to be a party of 40! Of course my immagination was running wild.....As I was holding down the fort, I sent my minions to get the preparations. The usual bounty was coveted. By the time night had fallen we were rosy cheeked and getting our grill on, chatting it up with some dudes next to us. The couldn´t have been older than 20, but turned out to be super chill. Once their food was ready they went back to their spot but told us to Price is Right that SHI and come on down after we ate.
A little while later, after we ate, Mike and I ventured into the heart of darkness....and it was this decision to join the 20 somethings from the grill next to us that turned into one of the most hilarious things that has ever happened to me. As we walk up to their table we are greeted with drunken shouts and yells. I jump into their drinking game of ¨Have you ever¨ and go around the circle for a bit. For those of you who aren´t familiar with the game, you go around in a circle with each person saying a ¨have you ever¨. For example.....have you ever cheated on a test.....and then those who have done that have to drink. simple. So we are playing the game for a bit, and as the game starts to fade to gray, one of the guys says, ¨hey, do you want to make out with a blonde chick? I just did and it was awesome.¨ Let´s just say that I was reluctant to say the least. I knew something wasn´t right. I could feel it in my sixth, or maybe even my seventh sense. But before I could say no, the guy gets up from our group and walks to a table of older women. And when I say older women I`m not talking about 30´s or 40´s....i mean, it is rude to ask people their age when you´re unsure...but we´ve all seen the Golden Girls, right? But anyways, Chucko goes over to the table and starts chanting KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS...this snowballs from table to table and person to person and soon there is an entire section of picnic tables yelling KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS. My face is petrified. I can´t move. It is like one of those nightmares where you are being chased by a guy with a flamethrower through a forest and you are running in super slow mo, and the only way to escape is to wake up. Sucks for me cause this was no nightmare, I was already awake, scared me sober after checking out the blond bombshell. I did nothing, and it seemed as if my hesitance just might actually have been for the better beause a middle aged man stands up from one of the tables and says, ¨I´ll show you how to kiss a woman¨, walks over to Blanche and lays one
smack dab on the lips. CHEERS!!! HIP HIP HOORAY FOR THIS GUY!!! I think to myself what a lucky SOB, me, not the guy because I DIDN´t have to kiss her, but not a moment later the guy turns to me and says, NOW YOU!
The chant starts building up slowly, kiss, kiss, kiss, but with every second the force hits louder and louder, KISS, KISS, KISS, KISS, the electricity is vibrant and running rampant with only one way to defuse this time bomb. What do I do? I stand up to adversity, rise to the challenge. I did what any God fearing man would do and I walked up and planted a big ´ol smooch on that sexy seductress´ sweet lips. What a woman. I could have used less tongue, but in no way was I complaining. I never thought my first kiss in Argentina would be so perfect.
Who would have guessed, but perfection came in two´s that night, because immediately after my baby bro walked into the scene, lost puppydog face on.....so what do I do, I ask him if he wants to make out with a blonde argentine woman. A saavy cat, little Mick, he is hesitant as well, but I give him no choice. I´m a big believer in sharing...The chants start once more, KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS, and Mike being the young buck that he is, mans up and walks over, grabs the woman with both hands, dips her slightly to the right, and lets the besos fly. Jubilation errupts from the masses and you can see a sparkle in the young couples eyes. I thought it could have been a blossoming love, but maybe it was the glare of the flourescent lights.....or the beer.....The saddest thing is that we´ll never know her true feelings.....or even her real name....because in our excitement we forgot to ask for the digits. She will however continue to live in our hearts as the one classy dame who got away.
Our wild acts of passion must have set a small fire under the pants of the younger maidens because they were chomping at the bit to have dessert. Sugar lipped Read boys......Our buddy tried to get more chants going between me and a my aged lady, but I politely declined and told them that I felt uncomfortable with them using me for sexy time makeout sessions. Yes, hearts were probably broken that night, but I´m only one man, and I am trying to use my powers for good........
So, long story short, Asados are great. It is impossible to go to one and not have a good time.....except for the one we had at thanksgiving where it was HOT AS FUZZ, muggy as all get up, and our table was under the lights and bugs and mosquitos and beetles were attacking us, and then it POURED on us, but I still had a great time......but the easiest thing to do could be to think of it like a Mastercard commercial:
Now you know the general theme, but to get a better idea, imagine a dashing young man, chestnut hair that falls gently over a five o clock shadow. Rugged features highlight his unique swagger. Dark, almond shaped eyes, a delicate, slightly upturned nose and a mischevious smile. He walks down a gray, uninviting stairwell in anticipation, pays his entrance fee(The voice comes on and says Entrance: 5 pesos, with the little white letters at the bottom of the screen) and then almost like the gates of heaven, he walks into the middle of a bright white light that slowly dims to show the outlines of a huge group of people with grills, tables, and food all around(and you hear the voice and read Meat: 43 pesos)....then someone hands him a cold beer(up pops Beer: 15 pesos) and the commercial fades as he is approached by one of the smoking hot seductresses of the asado(with the Mastercard logo appearing and the dude saying ASADO:63 pesos, Making out with hotties and kicking it with your buddies, PRICELESS)