Buenos Aires Grill at Woodbine Farmers Market: A New Contender for City's Best Street Food

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  • Photo by Chris Crimmins
Among the innumerable taco trucks, the occasional hot dog or snowball stand, and rumors of additional looming developments (pizza!), Nashville has a true left-field surprise: a tiny mobile grill cart dispensing Argentine sandwiches and desserts.

We first encountered Gitano Herrera and his awesome Buenos Aires Grill at the Woodbine Farmers' Market, where he'll be this afternoon (and most Tuesdays through next month) from 4 to 7 p.m. We haven't tried his eggplant sandwich, but we've found it hard to resist his choripan — a stout little sandwich of grilled sausage, homemade chimichurri and slivered tomato on a soft, fresh roll. The sweetly spicy sausage gets a light crust on his small but evidently powerful grill, and the chimichurri intensifies its flavor without overpowering the whole.

Better still is Gitano's panqueque, a thin crepe onto which he squeezes a thick reddish-brown ribbon of homemade dulce de leche — a substance one onlooker aptly described as "caramel on steroids." Imagine a pastry filled with the texture of custard but the taste and intermittent crunch of creme brulée crust. Small wonder folks were lining up for these as Gitano was trying to pack up last weekend.

Gitano comes to Nashville by way of New York, where he manned a bar for several years, and he says he ultimately hopes to get his own place. For now, he says, he's happy reproducing some of the street food he loved in Argentina.

For additional buzz, slip over to the adjacent table for Banjamin's "elixir," a sauce made with the thermonuclear heat of India's fabled bhut jolokia "ghost pepper." Use only a drop at first, unless you're nursing a cast-iron gut — or you're ready to sprint across the lot to Izzie's shaved-ice cart.

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