Miami steakhouse, Las Vacas Gordas Parrillada or “The Fat Cows” in English borrows its name from Biblical times where the well-fed cows of Bashan roamed fat while feeding on prairie rich soil that was blessed with good rain and sun. Las Vacas Gordas Parrillada is a Miami Argentine steakhouse with international flair. It opened as a small two-person operation in 1996 on Miami Beach, serving up typical Argentine dishes from the grill, at fair prices. Owner Luis Gajer and his wife (Rosie) who he credits as being instrumental in the restaurant’s success, passionately expresses the art of the Argentine grill. Through this passion, Las Vacas Gordas has exploded in popularity to become the “go-to” for Argentine cuisine in South Florida.
Attracting a diverse clientele from locals to internationals in search of the best steak in Miami, Las Vacas Gordas has become one of the top restaurants in Miami Beach, and now boasts an experienced full-fledged staff, bar, and one of the top wine cellars in the region. The restaurant’s growth or becoming “The Fat Cow” like those in the bible has not dampened the passion of the Gajers’ that drove them to open Las Vacas Gordas in 1996. Today, Las Vacas Gordas still offers typical Argentine cuisine in enormous portions at fair prices as well as other Miami favorites such as Prime Rib and Kobe Beef. The menu features an assortment of cuts of beef which showcases what Luis Gajer considers the finest expression of Argentine-style steak. The churrasco cut of steak is one that seems to be a fan favorite in taste as well as presentation, combined with the best chimichurri sauce around. Gajer had to famously roll the steak in unique fashion as it was too large for the plate it is served on. The Provoleta (grilled provolone cheese) is a favorite appetizer and one example of the typical Argentine dishes one would find at Las Vacas Gordas. Portions are large, but that will not likely keep one from trying the fired crepe filled with sweet Dulce de Leche.
Luis and Rosie Gajer invite you to North Miami Beach where Las Vacas Gordas resides to taste and feel the passion of Argentina.
Born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, Luis Gajer was destined to bring the heart and soul of Argentine barbecue to the world. Like many that grew up in Uruguay, or the neighboring country Argentina, Luis grew up on the grill. He has many fond memories of large gatherings by his family’s barbecue where he learned the art of Argentine grilling. With dishes that focus on passion rather than recipes, Luis fell in love with Argentine grilling which he feels leads to the ultimate expression of perfect steak.
In 1980, Luis moved from Uruguay to the US, eventually settling in New York and working many odd jobs. In his free time, Luis often had parties where he cooked for all of his friends. After countless celebrations at his home in New York, Luis’s childhood friend Martin, from Uruguay, told him that no matter what he was doing for work in New York, the food industry was his destiny. In 1995 Luis moved to Miami for a venture that fell through and decided to finally put his savings towards his real passion. Searching far and wide, Luis and his wife Rosie found the perfect space to bring his culture’s culinary traditions to North Miami Beach.
The next step was choosing the name, Las Vacas Gordas, which literally translates to “The Fat Cows”™ but signifies something much deeper; In Uruguay people often refer to the “Era of The Fat Cows”™ which was a time of luxury and abundance. To suit the name, all of the portions at Las Vacas Gordas are plentiful.
The beginning of Las Vacas Gordas in 1996 can be described as a spark lite by Luis’s passion. Slowly, Las Vacas Gordas became a roaring flame and from humble beginnings the restaurant underwent a full renovation with an international feel, major expansion of staff, and wide acclaim by locals and media. His pride and joy though is his acclaimed wine cellar.
Luis Gajar was pushed by his client and friend, popular television personality Don Francisco to expand his wine selection. In Uruguay and Argentina wine is a staple at the dinner table but Luis wanted to keep things in his restaurant simple. After some convincing Luis went all in and 15 years later Las Vacas Gordas is known for its impressive cellar which boasts fine wines from around the world. Luis to this day laughs about his reluctance to give in to Don Francisco’s requests.
Though Luis and his restaurant have received many awards and accolades from the press and community it is the personal experiences that he appreciates the most. Rather than list his awards he prefers to see guests that leave happy, and come back. So far, Luis has never had a customer come only once!
Luis currently lives in Miami Beach with his wife and three children.