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Restaurant Review: Gaucho Parrilla Argentina (Pittsburgh)

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Let's start with the good stuff first:

  • Great atmosphere. Ate at this restaurant on a beautiful spring evening recently, out on their side patio, with a nice view overlooking the North Side of Pittsburgh. It has a great rustic yet contemporary South American feel. 
  • Great menu. If you're a meat-lover you'll have tons of options (after all parrilla means grill in Spanish) at Gaucho Parrilla Argentina. So many great steak-based dishes, one trip is not nearly enough. 
Now, to the kvetches:

  • Bad logistical setup. Gaucho Parrilla Argentina has chosen to eschew the normal restaurant format of "sit down, order the meal, have someone bring it to you, eat" in favor of the format of "stand in line for 30 minutes and order at the counter" format. I don't know why this seemed like a good idea to them, but I can personally attest that I never even encountered this style of restaurant when I was in Argentina myself. So...idk what's up here. 
  • Portions are a little mincy. Again, not sure what's the idea here, but...when I think of Argentine parrilla I think of a place where you get big slabs of charred steak still dripping with juices, served right from the fire. My prime rib was a little on the small side for what I paid and I was underwhelmed. Maybe it was a bad night, who knows.
Final assessment: I'm definitely not giving up on this place, mostly because I love steak and all things Argentine, but I can't say I'm over the moon about Gaucho Parrilla Argentina. I really hate to give anything less than a stellar review to a local place, because I want to see good restaurants continue to thrive in this city, but I just think they need to think more about how to seem less like a restaurant pretending to be an Argentine parrilla and how to actually be one. 

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