When I first told people I was heading to Argentina, some expressed envy, but most just laughed. A vegetarian in Argentina? It baffled them. “What are you going to eat, twigs and leaves? That’s steak country, you know.”
Contrary to everyone’s predictions, I thrived – and well at that. Salads and pastas were a plenty at most places, and I was astounded to discover a few vegetarian gems in the land of steaks-are-us. My favorite, though, was Naturata, which is located in the heart of Mendoza. It is a small family business, overflowing with color, cheer, and life.
For 18 pesos ($4.60 or £3 with today’s exchange rates), I opted for the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. With produce rich in color and aromas pouring from the kitchen, how could I not? A large part of Naturata’s allure is the obvious love and pride that goes into the preparation of each day’s food.
Offerings tend to include lasagna, a couple quiches, empanadas, a few pizzas and a dozen or so salads – all vegetarian, and freshly made from the best available ingredients. Excellent service and scrumptious homemade bread tops off the entire lunch experience.
Naturata’s food is so well known in Mendoza that it also attracts a large non-vegetarian clientele as well. For those of you who plan to visit Mendoza for wine tasting, trekking, and horseback riding, I cannot recommend a better lunch spot.
*Naturata is located at Don Bosco 73 and is open from 12 noon – 3:30pm, Monday-Saturday. Their website is currently under construction, but contains some basic information: www.restaurantnaturata.com.ar.