Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Touch Of Columbia

Before taking in The Trashmen concert at southpaw we stopped for a bit of a nosh at a dynamite Columbian restaurant, Bogota Latin Bistro. It was just a block up from southpaw on fifth avenue in Brooklyn. It doesn't look like a whole lot from the outside, but don't be fooled.

Easy To Miss

It is fairly good-sized inside and they have an outdoor garden in the back. The weather wasn't nice enough to go out to see it though, but I am looking forward to a visit in the future.

The interior is cozy and cheerful so it warmed us up pretty nicely on this chilly and drizzly evening.

Quite Comfortable

The Mysterious Chinese Woman settled in right away and looked right at home.

Part Of The Picture

The place was pretty crowded and the service was a bit slow, but only by impatient New York standards. We got a little bag of fried plantain chips to nibble on for starters.

A Freebie

I like plantains and these were really good. Nice and crispy but in little stacks of three so they had some chew to them. A very flavorful dipping sauce too. Similar to the pepper vinegar sauce so popular in Belize. Except the stuff in Belize would blow your head off. The stuff here spicy enough, though.

Of course, when you think of Columbia you naturally think of, well, empanadas. Don't you? Oh yeah, and coffee. There is something else but it slips my mind. And it is right on the tip of my nose, er, I mean tongue.

Our Empanadas

Bar Man is really slipping when it comes to taking notes lately. I really do have to remember to carry around a little notebook and pencil. Anyway, I am not 100% sure, but I think one of these was beef - beef picadillo and chipotle tomato sauce. The other one I know was bacalao - salted codfish, roasted corn, jalapeno, and avocado dressing.

Now both of these were delicious. Nice thick, but perfectly fried and crispy, outside and stuffed with plenty very flavorful fillings. I like empanados and buy them on the street or, better still, at the soccer field in Red Hook. Most of them I have had are very good, but the ones here were probably the best I have ever had

We also ordered an Arepa de Chocolo (sweet yellow cornmeal cake) toasted with butter. Then for a topping we got the traditional topping that Columbians use on everthing, and I can't remember what it was called. It was interesting looking, not what I expected.

Arepa de Chocolo With ???

It was very good though. Kind of like a sweet cornbread with an unusual gravy. I quite liked it. A bit heavy for an appetizer, perhaps. But I tell you, this is a place where I could easily come and just share a bunch of appetizers. In fact, sad to say, I couldn't eat most of my main course. And then because we were going to the show I couldn't take a doggy bag.

My Meal

Now this was either a flank steak or a skirt steak. I don't really remember. But instead of pounding it thin and frying or grilling it, they cut this one thick and slow-cooked it. It was kind of like a very flavorful pot roast. Quite well done, but still moist. Almost like my pork butt would be after I cooked it all night to make pulled-pork.

And, as you can see, it came with all kinds of sides. That red-cabbage salad was great. Everything was excellent.

Sadly, I can't remember what the Mysterious Chinese Woman had. Really, I am going to start taking notes from now on.

There drinks here were very good as well. I started out with a margarita and followed that up with a Columbian beer.

Ah, Beer, That Was It

Then, being the fool that I am, ordered their special hot pepper margarita. Now I should know better. There was a place in Manhattan that had pepper martinis and they came with a quart of beer for a chaser. Believe me, you needed every drop of the beer. But, I digress. Let me just say this was one hot margarita.

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Luckily I still had some of my beer to help me with the heat.

Aw, I'd Do It Again

And what did the Mysterious Chinese Woman make of all this?

She Just Laughed

It is a bit of a hike to get to Bogota from where we live, maybe about a mile or so, but well worth it. And, if we are lazy we could take the subway. But you would have to be pretty lazy. See, a mile is kind of the minimum break-even distance for taking the subway, unless the weather is bad. It isn't the $2.25 fare, it is the hassle of going down to one, waiting for a train, schlepping back up, and you still might be a few blocks away from where you want to be. Now, if you are going further, subways are great.

Bogotá Latin Bistro on Urbanspoon

Well, that really was a digression. Might as well go all the way. Here were a few robots that were in a window we walked by on the way to the restaurant, in a little shop on Atlantic Avenue.

And that is all for now. Next time I will post more about our trip to Las Vegas.


Bogota Bistro said...

Greetings Barman..glad you enjoyed our place. I enjoyed your review and pictures too...your approach to the review was fun. Cheers!
Operating Partner

Bar Man said...

Glad you liked the review. We really enjoyed our visit and will certainly be back again. The food was delicious, the staff was friendly, and the atmosphere was cozy.

No more pepper margaritas for me, though. But everyone should try one, just to feel the pain.

Anonymous said...


Jo Ann said...

Bogota is new favorite of mine. I've been by for drinks, dinner and brunch probably about a dozen times in the last year, including New Year's Day.

The pepper margaritas are awesome! Although I max out at 2 or 3...

Also an excellent option is the dessert sampler. Generous portions of several tasty desserts is more than enough for two.

I recommend reservations for brunch, but the staff is friendly and amazingly accommodating. Ask for the "couples" table near the wall / fake window. It's the best for handholding and longing gazes.

Jo Ann