I’m Back: The Del Montemoon: Part 1: Bogotá

Say it loud! I’m back and I’m proud!

That’s right Del Monte-lovers. Your intrepid correspondant has returned from honeymoon complete with sunburn, swimsuit-chafing, excess of piña colada and awesome Spañish putos. Three weeks, that’s a lot of food to report on so I’m going to spread the good stuff over three entries. Deal with it. Coño.

Base-camp was Bogotá where we spent a few days seeing the sights, climbing up some steep hills (my Dunkirk), and feeding at the normal times. Aside from arepas and empandas Bogotá has quite a lot on offer. Loads of cheap restaurants which serve chicken and rice are to be found everywhere, all with intimidatingly dark interiors which don’t scare me, but we didn’t go in as I didn’t happen to be hungry at that time(s).

We stayed in La Candelaria and Chapinero, but the main places are to feed are in Zona T and Zona G. Zona T is a soulless, sterile area with all the charm of a strip mall and you may as well be in Utah for all the character on display (Utah slam!). And it’s as expensive as anywhere in the States. We ended up here a couple of times by mistake going to Gyros & Kebab (not bad) and Andres D.C. (http://www.andrescarnederes.com/). Andres has a couple of locations and is a must see, apparently. The cocktails were ginormous and the food not bad. I had a chateaubriand which could have floored a zonkey. The labyrinthine interior diverts you from what is actually quite a manufactured sense of chaos, but there’s lots to see, over 800 menu items to choose from and terrific service.

Better was to be found in Zona G which feels a lot cooler and so is probably rank with Colombian hipsters, but I couldn’t identify them so was forced to duff up a tourist hipster instead. We visited La Despensa (http://www.rafaelosterling.pe/) and the excellent Bruto (https://www.facebook.com/brutogypsy) where the international, award-winning cocktail wizard, Juan V, made us some amazing concoctions.

La Candeleria offers some nice places especially around Plazoleta del Chorro de Quevedo, the historic centre of Bogotá. We over-ordered in El Gato Gris (http://www.gatogris.com/) inducing staff and diners alike to howl with laughter at us. We also encountered the cutest baby cockroach in an Artesanal Pizza place that shall remain nameless.

Bogotá is second only in size to New York and Mexico City in the Americas. Well, third only, so we didn’t really scratch the surface is my point.

DE UNA TRAVEL BAR

The Paisa, beautiful pulled pork sandwich. Little did I know it would be my last sandwich for weeks.

The Paisa, beautiful pulled pork sandwich. Little did I know it would be my last sandwich for weeks.

Shakira Wings, prepared after the owner's grandmother's recipe. She's well preserved I'd say!

Shakira Wings, prepared after the owner’s grandmother’s recipe. She’s well preserved I’d say!

El Menu.

El Menu.

De Una Travel Bar
Calle 11 No 2-98, Bogotá
Tel:+57 313 3983439
https://www.facebook.com/deunatravelbar

ANDRES D.C.

My ginger fox drinking a Pink Fox - Gin, Grenadine and Lemon - delicious but the internet doesn't agree with Andres on the ingredients.

My ginger fox drinking a Pink Fox – Gin, Grenadine and Lemon – delicious but the internet doesn’t agree with Andres on the ingredients.

Del Monte drinking a Coco Loco and blending in.

Del Monte drinking a Coco Loco and blending in.

Spicy shrimp, attractively presented on a skillet. Apparently not so tasty.

Spicy shrimp, attractively presented on a skillet. Apparently not so tasty.

Me and my beloved Chateaubriand (R.I.P.). The staff asked me to wear a bib after watching me eat the bread.

Me and my beloved Chateaubriand (R.I.P.). The staff asked me to wear a bib after watching me eat the bread.

Not enough restaurants award sashes or rosettes for finishing a meal. Especially bad restaurants.

Not enough restaurants award sashes or rosettes for finishing a meal. Especially bad restaurants.

El Menu. Has an index. Massive.

El Menu. Has an index. Massive.

Andres Carnes de Res
El Espartillal
Tel: +57 1 8637880
http://www.andrescarnederes.com/

EL GATO GRIS

Platter 1. That's a lot of (not very exciting) cheese.

Platter 1. That’s a lot of (not very exciting) cheese.

Platter 2. That's a lot of small sausages, empanada, arepas, random meat, yuca ....

Platter 2. That’s a lot of small sausages, empanada, arepas, random meat, yuca ….

No guns? You mean I bought my gun for nothing? Killjoys.

No guns? You mean I bought my gun for nothing? Killjoys.

El menu.

El menu.

Outside of the El Gato Gris. Spanish for "the Grizzly Cake."

Outside of the El Gato Gris. Spanish for “the Grizzly Cake.”

El Gato Gris
Calle 13 Bogotá
Tel: +57 3421716
http://www.gatogris.com/

LA DESPENSA

Mrs Del Monte enjoys a Side Car and my continuously witty banter. Lucky duck.

Mrs Del Monte enjoys a Side Car and my continuously witty banter. Lucky duck.

The only pisco sour of my trip. I traced the roots of my hangover to this moment.

The only pisco sour of my trip. I traced the roots of my hangover to this moment.

Clams with Mozzerella. Very naughty.

Clams with Mozzerella. Very naughty.

Fish in sausage sauce. That's pretty darn clever.

Fish in sausage sauce. That’s pretty darn clever.

Fishy rice. Very fishy.

Fishy rice. Very fishy.

Interior action shot.

Interior action shot.

More el menu.

El menu.

El Menu.

More el menu.

La Despensa
Calle 70A N° 9-95, Quinta Camacho, Bogotá
Tel: +571 2358891
http://www.rafaelosterling.pe/

BRUTO

They built that lamp around a tall man who refused to move.

They built that lamp around a tall man who refused to move.

The band. Excellent, but chose their trousers poorly.

The band. Excellent, but chose their trousers poorly.

Mrs Del Monte and Juan Valderrama with a new cocktail of his invention and my hangover.

Mrs Del Monte and Juan V with a new cocktail of his invention and my hangover.

Bruto
Cra 10a 70-50, Bogotá
Tel: +57 1 2490314
https://www.facebook.com/brutogypsy

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