Who loves food? Who doesn’t? I don’t think there’s anyone in the world who hates eating. So for the second part of a feature on Colombian food, The HodgePodge Lifestyle will cover more local cuisines and drinks from this Latin American country. Also since most expats or travellers sometimes miss eating international cuisines, here are some restaurants you can go to if you’re missing eating pizza, pasta, hamburgers and other dishes.
Let’s include snacks as I was first introduced to these junk foods (as unhealthy as they are) when we went on a picnic at the river. The local brands Maizitos and Cheese Tris were pretty good but you can also find Lays and other known brands at the local supermercado (supermarket) like the one we always go to near the house, Exito or Carrefour.
Pair your snacks with the local softdrinks called Postobon. Try something new apart from the usual Coke or Pepsi. Oh yes, be careful with the term Coke as to which I have another funny story. I was so used to the term in Philippines that I ended up saying it all the time wherever I go but my Colombian friends warned me in using the shorter term and instead say Coca-Cola. Coke is more commonly used for Cocaine as opposed to the well-known softdrinks brand. Well, I learned my lesson in the long run hahaha!
Remember the cerveza (beer) Club Colombia that was featured on Tinto, Bandeja Paisa, Aguardiente & the Taste of Medellin, Colombia article a few days ago? There are more brands you can try. One of them reminded me of San Miguel Beer, their local cerveza called Aguila. It was also good but you can also try Paisa as the brand itself was inspired by the local name pertaining to the locals from the region of Antioquia.
Now, let’s go back to the Bandeja Paisa because there are fish versions of it like this one with ensalada (salad), Patacon (fried plantain) and brown rice. So for someone like me who loves seafoods since my own country is composed of 1,707 islands, it was a thrill and a treat to eat this there. I also ordered Pumpkin soup (isn’t that a huge serving!) with bread and mantequilla (butter) which was so delicious. Dine at Pa’tacon at a mall behind the Anastacio Girardote Olympic Stadium.
Visit the El Tesoro Mall in Poblado and dine at the food court for cheaper local meals. Sadly I don’t recall the name of this dish but the ingredients were as always mouth watering. From what I can remember it was made of maiz (corn), quezo (cheese) and tocineta (bacon) which was probably baked until the mozzarella cheese melted. The one below is made of vaca (beef), quezo (cheese) and carrots but still it was simply the same dish except for the meat used.
Photo courtesy of My Colombian Recipes
Just looking at this picture, my appetite goes hungry from seeing it here and reminds me of how much I loved this dish called Maizitos and better eaten when it has bacon thus the name Maizitos con Tocineta. It’s a melted mozzarella cheese with bacon and corn. I’ve tried making this when I came back home and it was almost like how I remembered it when our colleague from Fundacion Censa introduced us to this oh so good food.
What sets Colombian Empanada apart from Philippine’s own Empanada? I must say it’s their salsa because it certainly tasted better with the sauce they make and it’s cheap so for a quick snack along the street, it’s a great choice. Have all the Empanada you want!
We have Tamales in Philippines too and when I tried the Colombian version, it was a bit different as they include pork, chicken, potatoes, carrots, eggs, etc.–whew you name it–a lot of ingredients! As opposed to our own Tamales which is simpler as we cooked it with pepper as the toppings though sometimes also with a little bit of meat. Still both are delicious in their own way.
Who loves frijoles (beans) more than the Colombians? It was a staple in our house as my friend’s mom usually cooks beans usually with beef and the Bandeja Paisa has this as a side dish. It’s great for the cold weather especially during the holiday season to warm you up!
This food is a home cooked dish by my Colombian friend’s mom during my last night in their country before I take my flight back to Philippines. Since she knows I love seafoods, she made me some fried fish fillet, tomato salsa, sour cream with garlic in a baked plantain roll (not sure if it was or perhaps flour) sliced in half. It was heartwarming to have a special send off meal with my friends that night. So yes, if you happen to know any local friends perhaps you can try their own home cooked meal while you’re travelling in their country.
Photo courtesy of Pinterest
Chocolate con queso is one of the local drinks apart from Tinto which I loved especially during the colder season. One of my local friends introduced me and my German friend to a hot chocolate with melted mozzarella after a day at work. We went to the road in Las Palmas and stopped on the side of the higher area of Medellin to watch a motorcycle exhibition race then dropped by for a drink beside the road with an awesome view of the entire city. The motorcyle race felt like we were in a Fast and the Furious movie scene!
Sadly, I don’t have my own photos of the view of Medellin at night but it was breathtaking and imagine having the cup of hot chocolate with cheese, sipping it as you gazed upon this lighted city of eternal spring? Perfect. Definitely one of the memorable places I’ve been to and hopefully you will too during your travels.
During a visit to the university Escuela de Ingeniería de Antioquia (EIA) which my organization AIESEC is connected, after participating at the cultural exchange meeting and talk for students and members from abroad, we decided to have lunch at a nearby mall called Sau Paolo Plaza (nope not Sao Paolo, Brazil but wishful thinking!).
I ordered beef and mushroom with avocado and cherry tomato salad as side dish paired with Iced Tea while some of friends drank cerveza. I must say it was the best beef dish I’ve had but well my friend’s mom’s home cooked beef dish comes second.
It was a pretty good lunch on a sunny afternoon with friends where we were able to chill and enjoy the moment after the talk for AIESEC EIA. It was worth visiting this small mall with lots of restaurants to choose from.
If you’re missing international cuisine, there are a lot of restaurants or fast foods both local and know brands you can try such as J&C, El Corral, Mega Pizza, Pizza XXL, McDonald’s, KFC, Dominos among others.
My favorite though is J&C because of their really good Caesar’s Salad and Sandwiches like the one above in the photo collage. The pizzas from either Mega Pizza and Pizza XXL are pretty good too and the slices are big. Their not expensive and big enough to share with a group of friends.
Surely you won’t lack in different food options to try during your stay in Colombia from coffee, Patacon, Empanada to pizza, hamburger or pasta. Hopefully you’ll enjoy eating the local food and learn how they are cooked at the same time because I did and I wish I can go back to eat there again or learn how to cook them like they do it in Colombia. Once again buen provecho (happy eating)!
Watch out for the next feature on Colombia at The HodgePodge Lifestyle as I write about the Colombian party life at Salsa, Chiva Bus, Parque Lleras y Poblado: Partying in Medellin, Colombia (Part IV). Until then! Chao!
For more info on Colombian food, you may visit:
Website: My Colombian Recipes