Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekend Adventures in Bogota!

Sanjay, Becca and I ventured down to Bogota for Labor Day Weekend. This was particularly exciting because visiting Colombia got me to my goal of 30 countries - and before 30!


{A Toast to #30!}
Lucky us - we were upgraded to business on the way there.  I love when that happens! I had the lobster salad to start (yum), something with steak (steak was meh, shrimp were tasty) and a cheesecake (yum).


{My Menu}


{My Plane Dinner}

Naturally, we wanted to eat as soon as we arrived.  We had access to the club room at the hotel, filled with food and drinks.  So as soon as we checked in, we bolted for the club room and started eating snacks, such as cheese, crackers, mini eggplant dishes, and mini lemon meringue cakes.

We also got a welcome treat - a cheese tray and some wine!


And if THAT still weren't enough, we still went to eat dinner at Club Colombia near our hotel.  They were super accommodating - the kitchen closed at 11:30 and we arrived at 11:15, and they kept the kitchen open for us!


{Empanadas}


{Arroz con Mariscos}


{Ajiaco, Traditional Colombian Soup}

After dinner, we went to a bar called Bogota Beer Company.  I tried the Monteserrate Roja, and Sanjay had the half and half - mixed with mine and something else.  At the bar, we met two Colombians - Javi and Sasha.  They were super nice and we made plans to meet up with them for dinner the next night.

In the morning, we took full advantage of the breakfast in the club room.  It ended at 10:30am, and we all woke up at 10:25am and ran to make it in time.  We were offered an assortment of breakfast items: sausage, cheese, fruit, coffee, yogurt, etc.

We skipped lunch (though we sampled various snacks from street vendors along the way), and Sanjay and I both got some coffee at a coffee truck.  Well, backstory: we were at the Museo de Oro, and we were more intrigued by the food truck outside then by the thousands of kilos of gold inside the museum.  What? Are you that surprised? Anyways, this food truck ended up being the coffee cart below:


{Coffee Truck}


{Coffee}



{Coconut Fries}



{A snack cafe}


{Snacks for the road}

We went on a walking tour through Bogota Bike Tours, and our guide, Mike, showed us a bakery, La Puerta Falsa.  Us being us, we couldn't just pass by and had to stop in for some treats.  Pretty much everything was made with some form of arequipa (the Colombian version of Dulce de Leche) and coconut or some kind of tropical fruit.




{A Full Tray of Dessert - 18,000 Pesos, or, less than $12}

Mike from Bogota Bike Tours also got some fruit for us to try! We tried tree tomato, which was very fleshy, Lulo, which is similar to a kiwi, but more tart, Colombian passion fruit, memencilla, and chantaduro, which had a dry, heavy texture. Actually, most of the fruit we tried was very tart.


{Chantaduro stand - served with drizzled honey on top}


{Memencillas on the right}


{Memencillas - you basically crack the 
shell and suck on the fruit}


{Mike peeling some tree tomato for us}


{Passionfruit!}

Dinner on Saturday was at the highly recommended Andres D.C.  We heard about this place from all kinds of sources - tripadvisor, lonely planet, and even Sanjay's stats professor.  And what fun it was! The food was also great and the drinks were very strong.



{Sample platter - platanos, arepas, chicarones, etc}

A major highlight is that our waiters discovered we were visitors - you will NEVER guess what happened next: some person came up to us with a band ensemble, started playing music, and gave us visitor sashes! oh my god.  And THEN - they started blowing pink streamers all around us.  I have never felt more welcome in my life.


{Pink streamers.  I may have eaten one too}

We all wanted food when we got back to the hotel after going out at night, but we didn't know where to order pizza from.  Instead, we got room service.  Two medium rare burgers, french onion soup, and a club sandwich.  Somehow I still managed to wake everyone up at 10am for breakfast...


On Sunday, we went to a market in Usaquen.  There was food everywhere.  We couldn't handle it all.  We got shredded raw mangos covered in condensed milk, and sampled some other random food items, including mangosteens (much better than mangoes, IMO).


{Mangosteen}


{Another arepa, at Monteserrate}



{Lula and guanaba gelato}


{Raw mango}


{Raw mango covered in condensed milk}

Sunday night, all the restaurants seemed to close early, and we were tired.  Never fear, the club lounge came to the rescue!




{Our version of nachos}

Monday was our last day in Bogota.  We made a trek out to Zipaquira to see the famous Salt Cathedral.  We had about 20 minutes before the tour started, so, yes, you guessed it right: we got some coffee and an arepa with pulled chicken.  And scarfed it down in about 5 minutes flat.  Maybe 3 minutes, actually.


After a long and tiring journey on the bus, we found ourselves back in Bogota and REALLY hungry (shocker).  We had dreamt of getting tapas at a place in Macarena named Tapas Macarena, but it was closed.  We stumbled upon a different place, La Taperia (owned by the same person who opened up Tapas Macarena), and happily grabbed a table and some sangria.

Our last meal was a delicious one.  We thought about ordering everything off the menu, but somehow decided not to.


{Patatas bravas}


{Grilled calamari}


{Dates on horseback, with a twist!}


{Mini pizzas}

I would highly recommend visiting La Taperia if you are ever in Bogota! 

The meal on the flight back home was nowhere nearly as delicious as La Taperia, or anywhere else we had eaten over the course of our weekend.  But, we all know that I love airplane meals! 

The dessert was gross, but the chicken sandwich was not too bad.  I was impressed that Sanjay slept through the entire meal service.  As soon as I heard the cart rustling, I shot up and unlatched my tray table.  


I tried to google translate how to say "hom nom" in Spanish...but I think it might just be "hom nom".  Feliz Hom Nom-ing! 

1 comment :

theinfinitetable said...

Delicious pictures! Also, I should count how many countries I've been to... I don't even know.