I am an easy person to please. I know what I want, what I like, and what I won’t stand for. This applies to all facets of my life. When it comes to food, I try to live outside the box now and again but certain foods will always bring me happiness and when I discover a new place to have them, it is even better.
When it comes to the flavors of Latin/Hispanic foods there are too many things I love to eat. It is one of my favorite types of foods. I can never get enough rice and beans especially. You can’t go wrong with that on your plate. I mean I could eat them every day and be happy. It’s a simple dish but has the right tastes, textures, and contentment. I always feel joy about it.
So when I had friends offer to take me to a new place for just such a meal I couldn’t refuse. I had looked forward to it and counted down all day knowing I would find plenty of the things I love to eat and going to a restaurant I knew would be good was perfection. After all these are the folks who introduced me to Burger Bistro (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2012/12/for-better-building-burger-experience.html), Dinosaur Bar B Que (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2013/11/for-prehistoric-meal-dinosaur-bar-b-que.html) and Taci’s Beyti (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2013/12/for-taste-of-turkey-tacis-beyti.html). They are fellow foodies and just like to have a good meal with the ones they care about. Luckily I am on the list.
What is especially great about going out with people, who really know you, is that you can be the very deep honest version of yourself. In fact your company will come to expect it. I love these two for the fact that they know I have high standards, love the AC turned up, and that NO ONE is to touch a thing on the table unless I have already photographed it or they have my permission. You throw in a few laughs and that describes my evening last night.
Now that you know I had a good time and who I was with it is time to talk about the food. I was super hungry when we arrived and the place was so cute. We sat outside but really it was inside as it was enclosed and had AC. Thank God. It had Christmas lights up and a lot of décor that made the atmosphere fun and light. It was beginning to get packed as we were seated so it was a good thing we had a reservation.
In terms of appetizers this particular crew likes to get a few different kinds so we can share. Last night we went out on a limb and got: platanos rellenos (ripe plantain rounds stuffed w/seasoned chicken, chipotle tomato, crema), yucca fritas (fried yucca potatoes with house vinegar- green aji sauce), and the Caribbean coconut fried shrimp (served with tropical cole slaw and tamarind sauce).
They were all fantastic. My favorite was probably the coconut shrimp just because it is a dish I love from any restaurant when it’s done right. You would think you couldn’t screw a recipe like that up but believe me it is possible. The shrimp has to be cooked just the right way and it was. I could have kept going on those alone.
The yucca fritas were good just heavy. After a few sticks it starts to really weigh you down.
The plantains were crispy and sweet. I didn’t need the sauce on the side. In fact all of these dishes were great without the accompanying condiments.
When the waiter came to take our order I forgot we had yet to order the entrees. I was so into the first part of my meal I almost missed out on the second part. I said almost….
I went with their arroz con pollo (shredded chicken mixed with yellow rice, carrots, red peppers, black beans, and avocado). It was one of their famous dishes and I couldn’t resist. I had a craving all day. There was a second order of my dinner as well as one of the specials- fried chicken with jalapeno mac and cheese, and Caribbean potato salad.
When it arrived a few moments later I was in heaven. The presentation won me over. I loved the cup of rice served with the chicken already all mixed in. All I had to do was pour my black beans over it and cut up the avocado slice. It was the most amazing combination of flavors and each one hit the note I was looking for. I just kept mixing it all together and shoving it down my pie hole. I was a happy camper indeed. (PS. I heard the fried chicken was good too, it certainly looked tasty and crispy)
Just when you think we ate enough it turns out there is always room for dessert. I had the flan in the back of my head the entire day. I haven’t had any in years and the last one I tasted I don’t even remember where it was from. After reviewing the dessert menu and seeing how many I was curious about I decided to stick to my guns. I ordered the flan de coco (homemade Brazilian thick and creamy custard and coconut). Additionally we got the churros (traditional Mexican pastry sticks) with chocolate and dulce de leche dipping sauces and two scoops of ice cream in mango and chocolate. Also I had to get an iced Columbian coffee with milk. I knew that coffee would be rich and enjoyable. It most definitely was.
As for the desserts we were all going to taste each other’s but after one bite of my flan I couldn’t put another taste in my mouth. It was beyond anything I have had like it and I hesitate to even call it flan. First of all there was so much of it and I had this little round circle in my head. Next, there were fresh coconut flakes all over it. Lastly when I took a bite it was so rich, heavy, and creamy it was like eating the best cheesecake of your life that was just made. I knew instantly it was the best part of my meal and that I sadly would never finish it. My friends were partial to it also and did enjoy their selections. Even someone who hates flan would love this flan. It is all about the flan baby.
Next time I am going for the empanadas. I adore a good empanada. I wish I had the patience to try to make them. Scratch that I wish I knew someone that made them at my ready.
As we finished our meal we began to talk about what we would want to try the next time we ate here. This resulted in my dear friend Katie pointing out that we don’t have time to come back, at least not for a while. We have too many places left to try out. For me that means I also have a lot to write about.
I think next time we are going to go out for Italian but there was that American style place we discussed, and of course that bar and grill we parked in front of that had specialty sandwiches. Then again there was that delicious smelling pizza in the air the entire night. We have a lot of work to do indeed.
For Bogota Bistro: