A vegan tour in the land of beef? Who could possibly be offering that kind of experience?
Enter Gyde & Seek.
Gyde & Seek’s co-founders are Vanessa Guibert Heitner; A Condé Nast top travel specialist for 8 years, and Andrea Guthrie; a high-level fashion executive. Much like myself, Vanessa was born in Buenos Aires, and is a dual national, Spanish-speaking, 1st generation American. When I first heard about Gyde & Seek and read about the founders story, I was immediately drawn to their traveler experience and had to reach out to them. As someone who travels to inspire and motivate others to embrace new experiences, I felt completely in sync with Gyde & Seek’s mission.
Argentina is known around the world as the land of beef. Consuming red meat at familial gatherings – aka ‘asados’ – is a part of our cultural identity. But this passionate, creative, electric, and stylish city has so much more to offer than it’s meat.
What you focus on most certainly expands.
As I began to venture into the plant-based life, I started to shift my focus on the other treasures my beautiful country has to offer. Instead of consuming beef, I spent my days gushing over the city’s Art Deco and Baroque architecture, and it’s century old cafes. Buenos Aires to me has always been a sprinkle of bourgeois with a dash of bohemian. This is what I started consuming.
Although the vegan wave is fairly new in reaching Argentina, I knew that it had to exist. Finding it however, proved to be a challenge in this bustling cosmopolitan city. Luckily, Gyde & Seek gifted me with the absolute best person for the job. The lovely, Laura.
The day began with Laura and I rendezvousing in the heart of Buenos Aires, just one block away from the widest avenue in the world. The ever busy and grandiose, 9 de Julio. Laura was all smiles, and I recognized her right away wearing her stunningly bright hanky, which she personally designed. Laura is a graphic designer and a true denizen of the city’s underground art, literary, and theater scene; all of which we chatted about throughout the day!
My culinary journey kicked off at Veggie Medio Oriente; a tiny locale with an unbelievable array of homemade salsas, fresh veggies, and a mix n match of middle eastern delicacies. A super healthy, reasonably priced, fast food gem, using only high quality ingredients. The crispy falafel sandwich with oriental salsa spread was heaven sent! I also indulged in a fresh salad with some delicious hummus, and a refreshing cup of mint lemonade. The owner, Nir, presented us with a friendly smile and freshly made babaganoush. We devoured every inch of it! I thoroughly enjoyed the food, beverage, and company, but I must say the music selection put this experience over the top. Lauryn Hill to A Tribe Called Quest, it’s as if they had my personal playlist ;).
In true Argentine fashion Laura and I walked off our Mediterranean feast en route to our next meal ;). Okay, so here’s where things got a little insane, but in the best of ways. Venturing down a tiny street near Plaza de Congreso, I found myself standing outside Argentina’s very first VEGAN parilla. Fittingly named, La Reverde (The SuperGreen), they’re revered for their chorisaurio. A vegan take on the classic Argentine sausage sandwich, el choripan.
This dino did not disappoint!
To say that I was blown away by this vegan chori is an understatement. La Reverde has perfected the consistency, smell, and look of an authentic Argentine choripan. My first chorisaurio bite would stay with me forever! In Argentina we have a saying, “Un aplauso para el asador” (A big applause to the grill master) In this case, “Un aplauso para las dueñas” (Hats off to the two women owners). This quaint and affordable spot is a one of kind Baires vegan treasure!
It was now time for a vegan sweet treat. Parve kosher ice cream anyone?
I was pleasantly surprised to find another beautifully strong and motivated female as the driving force and owner of our next stop, Heladería Bali.
The owner, also named Laura, had always dreamed of owning her own kosher, artisanal, ice cream shop, and worked tirelessly to make that dream a reality.
I fell in love with this incredibly tasty and creamy parve ice cream; sans dairy, sans gluten. Bravo Laura! I went for the chocolate with almonds, and crema americana classic. It was the perfect mid-afternoon pick me up.
Next stop, Ohsawa. Named after the founder of macrobiotics, George Ohsawa.
Oshawa restaurante was conceived on the belief that food is an essential fountain of energy, health, and happiness. The owner, Perla Palacci, recovered from her own illness using the macrobiotic philosophy of a natural, holisitc, and balanced diet. Through consuming only local produce of the highest quality, in a balanced manner, Perla healed herself. After returning to good health, it became her mission to open a restaurant where she could nourish others through the healing powers of macrobiotic foods.
The treats here were not to be missed, so we had to make a HUGE sacrifice and try a few of them ;). First, we sampled a refreshingly light orange and apple tart.
Following suit was the dark cacao soy cake with savory fruits, smothered in freshly made raspberry jam. As I sipped on my soy milk latte I pondered, is this what heaven is like?
The space itself had such a wonderful energy. Natural lighting, beautiful plants, and an open layout, provided an oh so very zen dining atmosphere. We were also fortunate enough to have spent some time with the owner, Perla, as she shared her story of transformation with us.
Perla champions the principles of Ying and Yang, and the culinary philosophy of the Orient. A philosophy that is very similar to my very own; Fuddhism. One that promotes the art of balance and respects the natural order of things. I hope Oshawa paves the way for more locales where nutrition, medicine, and spirituality are so intimately connected.
Lastly, we ended the day with a nutritious green juice from an Ayurvedic gem called Prana & Ama, in the hip neighborhood of Palermo. Another trend I am so happy to finally see in my motherland. hey offer fresh pressed juices and delicious healthy snacks. I went for the the Fresh Cucumis (pear, green apple, cucumber, celery, basil, and lemon), which was incredibly hydrating and super nutritious.
The perfect way to end this incredible foodie tour.
Gyde & Seek was created by two women who are passionate about travel, and about its power to expand not only our consciousness but that of those around us.
A vegan tour of Buenos Aires, is expansion in epic proportions.
Gracias Gyde & Seek.