Oh. Why hello there. Welcome to 101 Achievements. Have we left you waiting in…..
Totally our bad. Quick summary: being a homeowner is hard AF. We have had a variety of contractors at our house pretty much straight through since February. Goodbye, dollars. (Goodbye also, faulty plumbing pipes, poorly-wired electrical thingy, crumbling concrete steps, other crumbling concrete steps, and disappearing-into-the-void sidewalk.)
The final project is wrapping up (not that I’m trying to jinx us or anything) within the week, so we are ready to jump back in with bloggy goodness! Starting with…. something that happened in January. Whoops.
Without further ado: we Finally Went To Gaucho, and we’d love to tell you alllll about it.
This is an Achievement that has been hanging around on our list for several years now. Gaucho is a (still Hot, although no longer New) wood fire grill in the Strip District, serving delicious Argentinian dishes.
Back when they opened, there were epic lines that stretched all the way down the block whenever was Gaucho was open. We figured, since they have been around for a few years now, we wouldn’t have to deal with that problem, especially because we were going to get there right at 5:15pm, a generally-accepted Early Bird Dinnertime.
We were sorely mistaken. The line was already huge. (Pro-tip we have since learned: what you think of as ‘early bird’ at other dining establishments is already busy at Gaucho. And they do not take reservations, so if you want to visit on the weekend, get there well before 5pm, or have a plan in place for an hour or more of standing in line.)
An hour outside was sooooo much time for me to worry about things! How did this whole restaurant WORK? How much longer would our wait be? What if the line was long outside but it moved really quickly inside, and I didn’t have time to read the menu and come up with an order? Why hadn’t I read on Yelp that they were BYOB and prepared accordingly? What if they ran out of All The Food before we got in there???
Never fear, any fellow anxious humans who may be reading this. Despite what your brain may be asking you, dining at Gaucho is easy peasy, and the staff will help it be that way. Here’s the process, broken down, for brains like ours:
1) Wait in line outside. Chat with your friends. Call your mum. Bring a book.
2) When you get inside, you will have plenty of time to check the menu, which is written on a huge chalkboard on the wall. The line wraps around inside and eventually takes you to the counter, but at all points inside, you have a clear view of the chalkboard menu.
3) If you are worried that you will forget what you wanted when you talk to the person at the register, type it up in a text message on your phone so you can read it off easily when you go to place your order.
4) Order EVERYTHING you want at one time, besides dessert. All appetizers, sides, drinks, and entrees get ordered together.
5) Once you order, you will be shown to your table by another staff member.
6) Then you just hang out for a few minutes and wait for your food to arrive!
7) There are lil sauce stations that you can go up to and fill small cups of different sauces for dipping if you would like.
8) Servers will come around for refills, and they will take your dessert order when you are ready for it.
9) And yes, they are BYOB, with no corkage fee! And try not to feel pressed for time, you can certainly enjoy your meal and your wine at a reasonable pace.
I admit, since it was my first time at the restaurant, I was a little terrified of understanding the process. But once we got through it all, we were free to enjoy the food – and enjoy the food we most certainly did.
And we never pass by potatoes on a menu! These are the papas al horno side dish, roasted potatoes with garlic cloves and rosemary. No matter what other sides you get, make sure you grab these as well.
For entrees, we decided to try a pork dish and a steak dish. This is the cerdo – roasted pork with carmelized onions and Dijon mustard. It was juicy and earthy and a little bit tangy (and great with all of the dippy sauces that we tried it in).
And of course, we ordered a steak. YUM. Look at that medium rare!! TO DIE FOR! We loved the refreshing little side salads that came along with the meats as well. It was a well-assembled plate, for sure.
OH MY WORD. THIS FLAN. Served with lovely little candied oranges, adding a hint of bitterness and tartness to the creamy, dreamy flan. YES. IT’S FLANTASTIC.
(Seriously, sometimes I eat flan just so I can say that.)
Anyway. Now that I have figured out the workings of a Trip To Gaucho, mine can join the thousands of other happy tummies who have eaten, enjoyed, and written about this fine member of the Pittsburgh dining scene. Will we remember a bottle of wine next time? You betcha. Will we begin our dinner at 4pm next time? UH-HUH WE SURELY WILL.