by Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl)
The best thing about traveling to a new place is getting to try all the fantastic food that you don’t get to eat on a daily basis.
You may know where to get the best Steak Frites in your city, but I guarantee you it’s nothing like the one you will have sitting outside a little Parisian cafe on Boulevard St. Germain. And, while I may love the Colombian place down the block from my Brooklyn apartment, and while it may be (and I’ve heard it is from many a Colombian ex-pat) very authentic – it’s still not in Colombia.
As someone who loves to try all kinds of new things, one of the things I was most excited about in the days leading to my trip to visit the Zemoga offices in Bogota was the chance to try food with the locals.
And they did not disappoint.
The one thing you probably know about Colombian food is the arepa – there are all sorts of places to get good ones in NYC. In Bogota, they are all good, and all different – be they warm and served as a side to your dish or in a basket with butter or salsa (like you may find rolls in the States) or arriving hot on a griddle, slathered in cheese, you have never had an arepa in the US like the ones you will find in a restaurant in Colombia.
While we were in Bogota, we were lucky enough to have an amazing tour guide in our fellow Zemogan, Beto. He loves the city and he loves good food. All in all, not a bad guy to spend the afternoon walking around the city with. He made sure to take us to one of his favorite restaurants in Bogota, Casa Vieja – a beautiful old Colonial house, serving generous helpings of classic food. He says it has the best Ropa Vieja (literally “old clothes”) – shredded beef with a tomato based Creole sauce – in town. Another favorite at Casa Vieja is ajiaco, a potato based soup served with capers and avocado on the side, to be swirled in as you desire.
Some of my favorite things from my tour around Bogota?
Kim and Fernando eating burgers the size of their heads at Galapago in Chia.
Coca Cola made with cane sugar (also one of my favorite things about trips to Mexico).
Delicate calamari at La Esquina in the T-Zone.
A pint of Cajica Miel at the Bogota Beer Company
Ceviche at El Salto del Angel
Posta Negra at Gaira Cafe
Tiny salted potatoes at Andres Carne de Res
Food stands at Monseratte