Only very recently I stumbled across this place while staying in the Stamford Grand at Glenelg, as somehow we had missed seeing or hearing of it’s emergence on North Terrace (but given I never really go that way, this is hardly surprising).
Despite the fact that Swish had been there for years, and also offered their “Magnificent Seven” burgers – which are still an option at The Grand in Glenelg incidentally – we never actually crossed the threshold and tried the food. However, open an Argentine restaurant, put a burger on your lunch special, and we make a bee-line there pronto.
Strange how that works….
The meaning of la boca is more or less “the mouth”. It is also apparently a region, or barrio, of Buenos Aires. Not entirely sure which angle they have taken with this, perhaps a little of both. Either way, they are here and we were there to see what was on offer.
Immediately there was a positive feeling, especially with the meats being smoked/cooked near the entrance and immediately visible as you come in. This did set the mood nicely, and the aroma from this didn’t hurt either!
Our waitress – didnt catch her name – was very friendly and efficient, although it wasn’t exactly busy on this Wednesday lunch time. Still, all you can do is a good job and she was definitely doing that.
Burger and open face steak sandwich ordered, along with some actually quite enjoyable Argentine beer, we got ready to tuck into our food.
From the Menu
Argentine Burger – 220g beef patty with chimichurri, provolone cheese, tomato and salad served in a homemade burger bun with rosemary potato chats – $15
The patty was absolutely amazing. There – I have got that out of the way. The actual structure of it, the flavour, the texture, the way it had been cooked to perfection and the size….just spot on.
The patty was made from an extremely course grind and had been roughly formed, then cooked superbly. The smokey flavour from the grill, the meat itself, the seasoning….look it was just freaking brilliant. That’s all really.
As per the menu, and they worked great. The salad was just rocket from what I could see but this was a brilliant decision in my book as the pepperyness melded in nicely, while the tomato, cheese and chimichurri were all just right. The sauce actually wasn’t super plentiful, but it also didn’t need to be as less really can be more. Their house made chimichurri is really nice too, with good balance between the herbs and spices.
Homemade allegedly, but not sure who’s home this was. House made I would accept though and it was really quite splendid. Nice to have two burgers in a row where they break away from the brioche trend sweeping the nation.
Rosemary chats were not served as you can see, and I got some wedges instead. They were not crispy and a bit under seasoned to be picky. There was also a couple of green olives, semi dried tomato and char grilled capsicum on the side too (very small quantity). Not really sure it added much more than colour, but I ate them all the same. Perhaps this was all a little weaker than it might have been.
$15 for this – no question one of the best value deals around. Quality food in a nice new venue and great service.
La Boca had sprung to my knowledge from nowhere about a week ago but it’s firmly glued, duct taped and nailed in there now. If the rest of their food and service can live up to this the we are in for a treat for our subsequent visits. Time will tell of course, but it was a very impressive and enjoyable lunch.
This was easily one of the very best burgers around, but what to score it? Was it prefect? Seriously heading in that direction (in my humble opinion) however that’s also impossible. And it did strike me one immediate improvement was possible and located near the entrance – include some of their house made prosciutto and this would probably take it up another notch, no question. Next time I am there I will be doing exactly that and building myself potentially the best burger yet.
However, as served, it is still comfortably in the top few. I only hope that if you do go based on this review that they can deliver on your now lofty expectations.
Score – 9.5