Food + Dining Main

Hot Dish: At MFR, Grass-Fed Beef Rules (Late-)Morning, Noon and Night

An Argentine steakhouse delights meat lovers in Naples.

BY April 10, 2015


When it comes to lunch these days, most prefer it light—mixed greens loaded with fresh veggies, minimal dressing, a crunch of nuts. But when the mood strikes for something heftier (perhaps after a long workout?), pay a visit to Martin Fierro Restaurant (MFR).

What started more than a decade ago as a butcher shop on Radio Road has morphed into an Argentine-style parrillada, or barbecue steakhouse, onLivingston Road. It’s not quite what you would think of for either a barbecue pit or a steakhouse (no pulled pork or sticky-sweet babyback ribs; no wedge salads, shrimp cocktail or potatoes au grain). It’s a uniquely South American breed of eatery, and the owners, a Uruguayan family, have nailed it: A giant charcoal grill beckons as you enter; the menu is predominantly beef; and, rather than a richness from béarnaise, steaks gets a kick from chimmichurri—a freshly chopped, or occasionally puréed, parsley and garlic sauce so versatile it goes with pretty much everything served there, from the empanadas (meat- or cheese-filled turnovers) to the toasted bread at the start the meal.

While MFR, named after a famous literary gaucho (Argentine cowboy), is an obvious choice for dinner because of the grass-fed Uruguayan Estancia-branded steaks among the best quality in town, lunch is the time to go for a truly authentic slice of South America at can’t-beat prices. Two of the aforementioned empanadas come with a coke and, yes, plenty of chimmichurri, for only $7, and the sandwiches, ranging in price from $9 to $12, are just want you’d find on vacation in Buenos Aires or Punta del Este. The “chivito” is an ultimate Uruguayan classic: a slab of beef tenderloin, sliced ham and tomato, a fried egg, melted mozzarella and a piece of lettuce wedged between grilled pressed Italian bread. (For those who have ventured to Argentina, this is not to be confused with their chivito, which is a type of goat cooked on a spit.) A lighter option (remember, this is all relative) is the Argentinian “churrasco,” a similar cut of beef with lettuce, tomato, mayo and shoestring fries also on warmed Italian bread. Or ask for a “choripan,” an off-menu treat that’s as Argentine as hot dogs are American—grilled butterflied sweet Italian sausage doused with chimmichurri, again (see a pattern here?) on a large piece of grilled Italian bread. Also, if they ask, avoid lettuce and tomato for the real-deal experience. 

Martin Fierro Restaurant (MFR)

13040 Livingston Road, Suite 11

Naples, FL 34105


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