La Fusta: A Little Piece of Argentina in Elmhurst!

La Fusta

La Fusta

Argentina is a great country!  It is the land of tango, gauchos, Evita, and some of the best soccer stars in the world.  But in addition, it is a nation that knows a thing or twelve about how to cook up a fine cut of steak.  And sausage.  And intestines.  You heard me!  But of course, not everyone can take a trip south of the equator to taste this mythical meat.  If you happen to live in the Big Apple, there is a place in Queens, in the neighborhood of Elmhurst that dishes up an assortment of beef’s greatest hits.

Situated in Elmhurst, a predominately Asian and Latino community in North Queens, La Fusta brings forth the flavors of a true asado to this humble neighborhood.  Since 1970, this Argentinian restaurant offers up all of Argentina’s finest foods, like empanadas, sweet breads, steaks, and flan.  It’s all served up in a cozy atmosphere that really captures the feeling of dining in an authentic Argentinian estancia, or ranch, combined with numerous pictures of riding crops and horses that also give it the feeling of an exclusive jockey club.  The brick interior and the rounded-arch hallways add to the ambiance, along with Argentinian tango music being piped in from every nook and cranny.

"La Fusta: Bringing the Estancia home to Queens!"

“La Fusta: Bringing the Estancia home to Queens!”

Of course, the ambiance isn’t the only thing the beckons hungry customers.  It is often regarded that Argentina does steak better than anyone.  In America, there is an age-old debate between butchers and cooks alike: should beef be wet aged or dry aged?  Should it be vacuum-sealed in its own juices or aged outside in the air where it dries?  At La Fusta, those arguments are tossed aside in favor of just serving up beef au natural.  True connoseuirs of this cuisine will say that aging is meaningless; as long as the beef is lightly seasoned, if not seasoned whatsoever, and thrown onto a hot grill or broiler.  According to my dad, a native of Buenos Aires, steak should not even be given any such seasonings or marinades.  Just a tiny pinch of salt and that’s it!  To add steak sauce onto Argentinian beef would be sacriliege.  But for the sake of satisfying the customer, La Fusta does offer up bottles of A1 Sauce, but please try the steak as it is!

"Where's The Beef?  At La Fusta!"

“Where’s The Beef? At La Fusta!”

Before one can dine on the finest meat, one must try the signature snack of Argentina: empanadas!  These fried dough pockets are stuffed with ground beef and seasonings; the fillings usually differ from each region of Argentina.

From the North, empanadas are usually oven baked with fillings like cheese, and sometimes ham.  They yield a light and flaky exterior, and the crimpings are more spread out.  As opposed to the rest of Argentina, mostly in the South, the empanada is deep-fried, filled with a melange of beef and spices, and the crimpings are kneaded closer together.  The empanadas here have a mixture of beef, hard-boiled egg, onions, and olives.  For me, the egg and olive mixture is a bit much, but it is still worth the taste.

"Empanada:  Argentina's national food!"

“Empanada: Argentina’s national food!”

 

"Empanadas: The Inside Story!"

“Empanadas: The Inside Story!”

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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