Sal Y Pimienta - Houston City Centre

I have posted about this Argentinian steak and seafood place before and it remains on my repeat list. In addition to the amazing array of dry aged and Wagyu beef, there is a heavy influence of Italian on the menu, I’m guessing because of the Italian immigration to Argentina. They offer many different types of milanesa and I was amused to see the milanesa a la napolitana on the menu, essentially a milanesa pizza: chicken or beef milanesa topped with tomato sauce, jamon and mozzerella.

Last night I had the “noquis” - potato gnocchi in three sauces from the pasta list: arrabiata, gorgonzola cream sauce & creamy pesto. I’m not a huge fan of gnocchi - the best I’ve ever had BTW is at Giacomo - but the sauces intrigued me. The two creamy sauces were very good, the arrabiata was delightfully spicy but over salted and I’m a salt hound, so that means it was really salty.

I started with the King Crab Claws with mini yucca arepa and it was AMAZING. Seven giant claws and that arepa made of one of my favorite things on earth. If you’ve ever had the normal sized crab claw appetizer at Churrasco’s it is very similar.

Every time I’ve been here, the diners are almost exclusively South Americans. Having lived there as a child, the flavors of South America are both nostalgic and comforting. It’s the real deal if you can stand the parking or lack of it. There is valet at night and the parking garage by the Studio Movie Grill is just across the boulevard from Sal & Pimienta.

Excellent report. I remember being very interested in this when it opened but it has totally slipped my mind. Looks like the menu rivals that of Andes Cafe in breadth but I take it in a very much more upscale setting. I must get out there some time. Thanks for the report.

Where did you live in SA? Ever been to Emporio?

Edit to add - yes, several South American Countries have a lot of Italian influences.

Lived in Venezuela as a kid, before they nationalized oil production. I haven’t been to Emporio, but it looks promising! I have Andes on my list from when you mentioned it before and I found tequeno’s on the menu their. I ate my weight in tequenos as a kid, and can’t wait to see if they taste as I remember!

It’s been five years since I’ve been. I see they’ve changed the menu and there have probably been other changes, but I loved the place. I went a half dozen times, got the feijoada 3 times and got an order of it to go on another visit! I love bean dishes and that is one of the world’s great ones, for sure.

Also loved the pao de quejo? the little cheese rolls.

The Shrimp Muqueca was recommended (on CH I think) but I never got around to trying it.

Went in to a little Venezuelan place about a month ago, El Fogon Criollo, on Gessner at Harwin. Turns out it’s the lady that used to run the El Punto Criollo cart on highway 6. Her empanadas were excellent. Of course they have tequenos. This place is a dive in a run down shopping center. I may go back and see if she has hallacas; I’ve had one of hers before and it was pretty good. I haven’t picked up any so far this year so I guess I better get crackin.

There’s a Guatemalan restaurant in that center that’s new, too, El Taurino, Antojitos y … Chapines. Haven’t been to that one but remember you had expressed some interest in Guatemalan places.

Edit to add: I had the Patacones at El Fogon. The Carne Mechada was excellent but the plantain bases were thick, tough and very grease laden.

Silpancho is a Bolivian stacked dish of basmati rice, fried potatoes, thin sliced and deep-fried beef milanesa and fried eggs, topped with pico de Gallo.

I substituted fried yuca for the fried potatoes.

This is a dish that you eat before you go to work in the mines. I had not eaten all day, and still did not finish most of it., but I loved it.

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It’s been a while since I’ve pulled a shift in the mines but I’d eat that (or try to :yum:).

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold