Kentucky is the unlikely name of a traditional pizzeria of Buenos Aires founded in 1942. An investment fund bought the brand in 2001 and opened a couple dozen franchises. However, I prefer the original location on the corner of Santa Fe Avenue and Godoy Cruz Street, a block from the iron railway bridge. The bridge –Puente Pacífico-, built in 1914 by the British-owned Buenos Aires al Pacífico railway company, lends its name to this area.
Stepping inside Pizzeria Kentucky feels like talking a step back time. The walls are covered with posters, photos and framed newspapers articles and ads: football and boxing stars, tango singers, and TV celebrities of yore happily share wall space. Vintage bottles of vermouth, liqueurs, gin and other beverages decorate the shelves.
I sit in a corner next to the dessert counter. It’s early for the lunch crowd. One man is getting stuck in and a couple is chatting over coffee. I order a slice of pizza. It’s media masa, the house specialty, a spongy base less thick than deep dish. The crust is smeared with tomato sauce and covered in abundant mozzarella cheese sprinkled with oregano and the mandatory green olive. Every pizza comes with unpitted olives in Buenos Aires. The pizza is not too greasy, not too heavy and it tastes like pizza porteña. It captures the essence of the city. Buenos Aires on a plate.
Kentucky’s slogan is moscato, pizza y fainá. Moscato is a sweetish red wine that was popular in the first half of the 20th century. I, however, drink mineral water. Fainá is the local version of an Italian flatbread made with chickpea flour and olive oil. Each slice of fainá fits a slice of pizza perfectly. Some people like to eat them together. I’m totally indifferent.
Although I have hardly any room left, I’m tempted to order dessert, a postre tipo Balcarce. Fresh whipped cream, dulce de leche, pieces of crunchy meringue and dried fruit piled on top of a slice of thin sponge cake called pionono and sprinkled with coconut flakes. This is a rather old-fashioned dessert; it is not served in trendy restaurants, only in traditional establishments like Kentucky.
Address: Av. Santa Fé 4602
Mon – Thu 6:00 am – 2:00 am
Fri-Sat open round the clock
Sun 6:00 am – 2:00 am
They don’t deliver. Come in, sit at one of the Formica tables and experience Buenos Aires
Read about another traditional pizzeria here