So many things to say about Donnet that I wouldn’t know where to start. I’m going to try to keep it simple and walk you through it in the same chronological order of my experience; so let’s start with their facade on a corner stating “Pollería” (poulterer) in an attempt to mislead you and then take you by surprise. I loved the irony.
Sketches, stickers, posters, fridge magnets (and an actual fridge as part of the decor), candles, colors and small objects fill up the place. Kitsch and messy, like the living room of that artist friend of yours who is incredibly talented but lacks discipline. Seen as a whole, the place is the perfect set for a Mexican independent film. Nice music and the cute complicity among the staff complete the gypsy, spontaneous ambience.
Chez Donnet, I had the BEST MUSHROOMS OF MY LIFE. So, OK, I ain’t no Anthony Bourdain, but still, I will go to battle for these mushrooms. The house special “Hongos Donnet” comes with the biggest and thickest portobellos I ever tried, laid on a chestnut cream and accompanied by a couple of home-made crackers.
The feast was paired with local brewed beer. I sat on a small table outside, lighten by a cute lamp like the ones you see at the flea market but never dare buying; with a colorful table cover with the face of Virgin Mary; watching neighbors coming in to say hi and a few newbies who, like me, felt like trying something new that night.
The menu is short and healthy. Other dishes with mushrooms and different sides, empanadas, knishes, fainá… also organic wines and other drinks. Donnet is not specially cheap but you can find something for every budget, for example you can have a couple of empanadas and a beer for a reasonable price. Whatever you pay for whatever you eat, it’s probably worth it.
By the way, their menu is 100% vegan, but that is not very relevant because the place is not defined by that fact. I’m not a vegan, and I read somewhere that the owner (Manu Donnet) is not a vegan either. So it really doesn’t matter if you are; because you’re going to have a magic night with magic mushrooms and you will be happy.
Fraga 499 (Chacarita – Buenos Aires)