“Los Argentinos. It has the best steaks in the city.” If you ask anyone where to find a great steak in the Dutch city of Den Haag that will be the unanimous answer. Those searching for South American flair and flavour should look no further.
Cattle were first brought to the pampas of Argentina in the 14th century by Spanish Conquistadors and beef has since weaved itself into the fabric of Argentinean culture. Locals celebrate the asado, something which describes both the act of barbequing and the social event of holding a barbeque, although any Argentinean will tell you it is much more than just firing up the grill and throwing on a few steaks.
The best known cattle producing area in Argentina is the Humid Pampa, a vast region of fertile grassland in the east of the country. Cows grazing on open plains also brings to mind images of gauchos, the cowboy icons of Argentina. An annual festival celebrating gaucho culture is held in early November each year in San Antonio de Areco. Men wear traditional attire, show off their equestrian skills, and everyone enjoys asado.
There were no gauchos to be seen in Los Argentinos but the restaurant was clearly full – always a positive sign. My dining companion and I were asked to wait a few moments for our table and we lingered at the front of the restaurant in order to be near the grill. The heat emanating from the glowing charcoal flushed our cheeks, while meat sizzled and fat dripping onto the coals caused flames to dance up and lick at the steaks above.
We were seated in a cosy corner and attentively served by the black-clad staff. Service is fast at Los Argentinos and the time between ordering my medium bife de lomo steak and the time it arrived on the table passed in a blur of conversation and one quick trip to the salad bar. Then it was time to taste.
The bife de lomo was so tender that it quite simply melted in my mouth. I ordered a mushroom cream sauce on the side but the small pink pot of red chimichurri on the table suddenly seemed to be a much better choice. Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce used for grilled meats and in its red version, tomato, red bell pepper, chopped parsley, olive oil, and red wine vinegar are combined as a tangy accompaniment to a juicy steak.
My dining companion was similarly impressed. “The quality of the meat is great but most of all, you can tell it was prepared by someone who knows how to make a good steak.”
At the end of our meal we cast our eyes upon the hundreds of reviews written on small slips of paper, displayed above the worn wooden tables and cow skin covered benches. If you take a moment to read a few you’ll start to notice a common theme – Los Argentinos really does have the best steak in the city.
Address: Kettingstraat 14, Den Haag, the Netherlands
Telephone: +31 70 346 8523
Opening Times: The kitchen is open daily from 3pm until 11:30pm, and the restaurant closes at midnight.