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Authentic Argentine Steak (and More) at Rancho Argentino!

January 17, 2008 By Doug in Miami: Travel News  | 9 Comments


When you see a restaurant owner ordering from the menu of his own establishment, it’s always a good sign.  And the other night, after my friend Dave and I got a craving for something really south of the border and swung by Rancho Argentino (1415 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL, 305-538-7205) we were pleasantly surprised to find the proprietor, Gabe, savoring a plate of some really meaty spare ribs.


We took a table near the window, where we could watch the comings-and-goings on Washington Avenue, and prepared for our feast.  The service was prompt and friendly.  I started things off with the beef carpaccio appetizer, which was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. 


Dave, for his part, opted for the Corona beer appetizer, and to my dismay announced he had decided to become a vegetarian this week.  But all hope was not lost: in addition to the various cuts of steak, ranging from skirt to porterhouse, there were also ample selections of fish, chicken, salads and pasta to choose from.  Dave set his sights on the gnocchi with tomato sauce for his entree, while I, feeling much more carniverous, went for the house recommendation: The New York strip steak, medium rare, with a mixed-green salad on the side.  I selected a glass of Malbec, a popular Argentine red wine, to go with it.


When the steak arrived, it was Flinstones huge.  Had it been served to me in the window of my Tercel, it probably would have tipped the car over.  And once I bit into it, I was in love.  Not only was it tender, and flavorfully garnished with the chimichurri sauce (a garlic and spice concoction typically served with Argentine steak), there was something indescribably delicious about the flavor.


Gabe, who’d been dutifully making the rounds to the tables of hoardes of doting regulars, joined us at our table long enough to fill me in on their secret: Rancho Argentino, unlike many other steak restaurants, both South American and non, uses a charcoal grill—most steakhouses use gas grills, which don’t provide the same quality of flavor.  And not only are the steaks cooked on the charcoal grill at Rancho Argentino, the briquets themselves are pre-cooked in a special charcoal oven—which makes the meat even more flavorful.


Gabe is an interesting fellow; an amiable, earthy ex-New Yorker with the accent to prove it, he moved to Buenos Aires at a young age to discover his roots and ended up living there for 25 years, during which time he got to know the intricacies of the local cooking.  Sometime after that, he wound up in the Miami area, where he opened a few restaurants around town; Rancho Argentino has been around for about two years. 

Meanwhile, Dave was very pleased with his gnocchi, proving that steakhouses can even be enjoyable for non-meat-eating friends.  He commented that the sauce tasted homemade, while the pasta was perfectly cooked and filling.


My two glasses of Malbec were also exceptional, and made the perfect compliment to the steak.  Fortunately for me, next to steak, the culinary Argentine’s second greatest passion is wine, and this one lived up to its reputation—and what’s more, the glasses were over-sized, ensuring a generous supply of liquid inspiration.


Perhaps what I liked best about this establishment was that, despite its presence on the most touristy strip in South Beach aside from Ocean Drive, it had more of a down-home, neighborhood quality than the other places around it—that meant less pretension, lots of repeat customers, and reasonable prices.  Lunch specials are available, in fact, for just $14.95 per meal!  With deals like this, this place could easily become a habit!

The price tag for our night on the town (service not included) came to about $75, quite comparable with other area eateries with menus decidedly less mouth-watering.

Our dinner at Rancho Argentino included:

26.95 NY Strip w/house salad
11.95 Gnocchi
9.95 Beef Carpaccio
$5 glass of Malbec
$5 Corona beer


Related Categories: Miami: Travel News,

Douglas Eames is a freelance writer, homespun philosopher and budget bon vivant who divides his time between Southern California and South Beach.

See more articles by Doug.

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9 Comments on

"Authentic Argentine Steak (and More) at Rancho Argentino!"

Liza in Miami says:

I was very disapointed I made a reservation for a pre father’s day restaraunt for 4:30pm got my confirmation number and when we got there the place was not opened they were setting up for dinner and would not open until 6pm. Yet they advertise they are open for Lunch and Dinner. We ended having to go somewhere else. Very Very dispointed…. ;(

Posted on 06/15/2008 at 10:08 AM

Steffen Møller says:

I found the place by accident in December 2007 on a weekendtrip from Jamaica and loved it. In Feb 2008 I went to Argentina for a friend’s wedding and Argentian food is a miracle.

In June 2008 I went back to Miami and I went back to the restaurant. It was bloody fabulous.

Now I live in Mozambique but next week I’ll have a stopover in Miami and I am really looking forward to dining there again.

Posted on 04/08/2009 at 4:47 PM

Gus says:

Hi, Steffen. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Rancho Argentino closed. It’s hard for restaurants to make it in South Beach because the rent is so expensive.

Next time you’re in town, please stop by Miami Beach 411’s Restaurant Forum and we’ll be happy to offer you some suggestions.

Posted on 04/09/2009 at 6:37 AM

Julia says:

Was hoping to come dine here when we’re in town this weekend…what’s another great Argentinian restaurant around South Beach would you suggest?

Posted on 04/13/2009 at 3:52 PM

Doug says:

I’ve always been really fond of the Cafe Charlotte, which offers home-style Argentine and Venezuelan dishes at very reasonable prices.  It’s not quite in the same league as Rancho Argentino, but it’s always on my list of things to do when in South Beach!

Posted on 04/13/2009 at 3:57 PM

Steffen Møller says:

People - I’m flying 10621 miles in order to get to Miami. I don’t want “not quite the same league” - I want a juicy Argentinian steak and I want it Friday. Where do I go when the price isn’t of concern (please don’t tell me Argentina)?

Posted on 04/13/2009 at 5:01 PM

Gus says:

Steffen, Argentina is a gigantic country… I would never suggest going there. If you’re looking for a good steak, I’d suggest narrowing your search down to restaurants in Buenos Aires. wink

All jooking aside, most of the Argentine restaurants have closed.

Would you consider eating at a Brazilian steakhouse?.. Miami has 5 or 6 of those.

Posted on 04/13/2009 at 5:45 PM

Steffen Møller says:


I think I’d go to Mendoza instead of Buenos Aires - I have friends there that will keep my skin streched…

Which Brazilian steakhouses do you recommend?

Posted on 04/14/2009 at 1:52 AM

Gus says:

I recommend the steakhouse at the Miami Beach Marina. Burgandy just mentioned the name here:

Burgandy knows his stuff. I trust what he says.

There is another Brazilian steakhouse at Bayside in downtown.

To hear what others say, search our site for [Brazilian steakhouse].

You can find a search box at the bottom of the page.

Posted on 04/19/2009 at 7:25 AM

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