The Colombian Breakfast/Hangover Cure

I’ve written a few times about Colombian breakfast, especially in the country, where breakfast is done BIG…But if you’re spending only a few days in Bogota and you want to maximize your cultural experience and eat like a local (good for you!). Here’s the secret: ditch your hotel breakfast and go for a walk.

Walk around Bogota in El Centro or El Parque 93, Quinta Camacho, Zona G, Usaquen, Zona Rosa… where ever it is that you might be staying and buy a fresh juice on the corner or fruit cup to enjoy in the sunshine and try not to get by cab driver.

A truly authentic experience would include stopping by a local bakery (my favorite: Colombiano Pandebono on 95 and 15th) for piping hot pan de yuccas, pan de bonos, almohabanas, or areaps con queso (all various styles of cheese breads and the most typical Colombian thing you can eat) (yay carbs!) and enjoy one or all of them with a coffee. Remember gringos: if you order “un cafe“, they will serve you a coffee with milk (cafe con leche). If you order “un tinto“, you will get a black coffee. If you’re really feeling the vibe, go ahead and order “un avena”. It’s an oatmeal drink thats kind of like a cross between an spiced oat smoothie and horchata (but not made of rice). I promise you’ll like it! And it’s cheap! (5 mil pesos for 2 pan de yuccas and a tinto).

But maybe you’re kind of hungover and really need some solid food to start your day… in that case, I would recommend walking (or Uber-ing) your behind to the nearest Andres Carne de Res (which I’ve mentioned in this post). AndresCDR is a Colombian party institution with roots just outside the city, but has grown into various locations around Bogota (Andres DC, La Plaza de Andres, and Andres Express) for both the food and the party! The menu offers every typical dish in Colombia from regions like Antioquia to Boyaca. The breakfast menu is solid… with some standard dishes like scrambled eggs, calentado, caldo de costilla or arepas–pero wait! You said you wanted to eat super local and you had a hangover?

Skip the tourist menu and ask for: un consomme (like a caldo, although little lighter and with shredded meat and potato and cilantro), arepa de choclo (sweet, yellow corn, pancake-like and filled with cheese), and some coffee. All for about 15 mil pesos ($5)

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As soon as you finish that consomme your hang over will be long gone and you’ll be ready for another day of touristing!

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The Colombian Breakfast/Hangover Cure

Ich Bin Ein… Berliner


I thought Paris was difficult… Until I got to Berlin. Berlin is ROUGH. It’s crumbling and grey and smells strange in many places. You can feel the blunt affects of war on this city, perhaps more than any other. Graffiti stains monuments and people don’t stop often to help you. It is an aggressive city, not unlike Bogota.

A few weeks after my trip, I sat next to a man in In-n-Out and we got to talking to about Berlin. He was enamored by the city and he called it a diamond in the rough… Nonetheless, it is rough.

However, (just like in Bogota), I witnessed some moments of pure and unforgettable beauty. Our first night in the city, we roamed around the streets at dusk and stumbled upon a man and his guitar on the steps of a church. For an hour we sat in awe as he played the most beautiful acoustic versions of Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles, and Pink Floyd for a crowd of over 50 people.

On our last day, we took some pastries and sat in Tiergarten for a few hours to read and relax. I was lying in what felt like the only green space in of all of Berlin. As I stared up at the sky, surrounded by trees, I felt like time had stopped. Only the loose clumps of pollen were floating in slow motion above me like tiny fairies. I could hear children laughing in the distance and water from a creek rolling by; but in that moment I felt like the only person in all of Berlin. I felt over 500 years of complicated history seep into my soul. The triumphs and the falls, laughter and tears mingled with fear and despite everything, love.

Berlin is complicated, once the center of classical culture, now stained by the pain of war. But maybe the man at In-n-Out was right: it is a majestic diamond in the rough.

What I’ve come to learn from Berlin is that you either love it or you hate it. It’s not for the faint at heart. Berliners are unapologetic and fierce in their ways, perhaps that has to do with years of war or being at the center of Europe. That history is reflected in the vibe of the city, as it was so integrated into every day life for so long: the food  (a cross between classic German and the immigrant population), the local’s style (edgy, practical, and rugged). Drunk, shouting homeless men lived in cohesiveness with young 20-something girls sharing a photobooth outside a liquor store. Guys dressed with chunky dog collars and everyone waited in line at 3am to enter the nightclubs. Nothing is off limits there. Even Tiergarten seems like a place of escapism. Home to the beautiful landmarks of the city, people spend long, leisurely days in the park, eating, drinking, doing exercise, or protesting. In other corners of the sprawling park, you’ll find groups of nudist lounging next to their bikes getting some sun. (I told you, unapologetic).

Maybe I’ll go back. If I do, I’ll approach the city differently. I’ll embrace its crumbling architecture and dig deeper into the city.

Ich Bin Ein… Berliner

Amsterdam is Bliss.

Amsterdam was a blissful oasis tucked between the chaos of Paris and Berlin. It was a strange Utopia of calm after a slightly overwhelming weekend in Paris. 


We arrived by train at midmorning to Amsterdam Centraal and I instantly knew I was in my kind of city! 


There’s something about the Dutch that is so comforting! While touristy, there is also a deep sense of locality. And the locals are warm! They welcome you, chat with you, and make you feel like you’re a part of the city. The city and its locals are cool, style-conscious and cosmopolitan; yet nothing is ever pretentious or forced. A beautiful sight after years of LA-designed hipsterism.

Their style is chic and sophisticated; but utilitarian and practical, lending to their constantly active lifestyles. 

And although the city is in constant motion and people always seem to be doing something with a purpose, it’s calm. People don’t scream and honk at bikers who swerve in the way of cars… They just… Let them pass! Everyone is friendly, helpful, and eager to share info about their country or favorite cafe. Frankly, it was refreshing after living in the density of Bogotá. My inner energy really needed those 2 days of peace in Amsterdam.  




I found a local shop called Adam Local, in Jourdaan, which sells souvenirs made my local designers and artisans. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a beautiful trinkets and designs.

It’s easily my favorite city now, though our time was limited. We enjoyed the coffee shops, the cafes, ice cream along one of the canals, explored the red light district and often split up to walk on our own. 






Even if you’re planning on an extended stay in Paris, I highly recommend taking a day trip to Amsterdam! The train leaves from Gard du Nord regularly and it’s only 3 hours from Paris! 

 

Amsterdam is Bliss.

Bon Voyage

So here I am again. Bags packed and ready for another brothership adventure. I’m currently on my way to London via Madrid to meet up with my brothers for 2 weeks of Europeanness (museums, landmarks, cafes, cheese, wine, pastries, walking…. Yaaaass). 

I’m literally so tired and jet lagged I think my eyes are going to fall out. But I’m almost there. And it’s already Day 1. Damn, time flies when you’re having fun. 

Oh yeah, here’s a pic with my dog before I left ❤️. We call him Black Fox now. 



Bon Voyage

Foodie Adventure: Paloquemao

I’ve been sitting on this lot of photos for over six months and decided to finally share with all you foodie adventurists… Last July I took a day trip to Paloquemao, an indoor food market-bazaar in Bogota. From the wee hours of the morning to the afternoon people are hollering and haggling over piled of every kind of food product you could imagine.

It’s off the beaten path if you’re in Bogota for a visit, but worth it if you’re a foodie looking for the real deal. Be prepared to walk a lot and the butcher room is not for the weak at heart. (Gory and awesome and definitely disturbing!) Be sure to stop and have breakfast or lunch at a local food stand. Caldo de costilla hits the spot after a long morning of haggling.

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Foodie Adventure: Paloquemao

Back Again

Yeah, I did it again. I took a three month hiatus and left this blog by the wayside. All it’s thoughts and adventure put away for a another day, nearly forgotten. In fairness, the last few months have been a wild and busy blur; feeling like both yesterday and years ago. Isn’t that weird how that happens? Thanksgiving feels like ages ago, but it was really only 2 months back.

Anyway, a lot has happened to me since I last wrote.

In October, I was on the cusp of packing everything up again and ending this journey to head back someplace I wasn’t absolutely sure I wanted to be. I found my self tangled with “what-ifs”and “I don’t knows”, like any good 20-something should experience. I also felt defeated by the thought of “giving up” before anything got started. Then I met some pretty amazing people who (whether they know it or not) convinced me to take this wild adventure I created for myself and grab it by the horns.

I began to see my new home in a different way (as reflected in my essay Change In My Pocket) and wanted to take advantage of all the opportunity it could give me.

So here I am. Colombian Passport in hand (I became a citizen in October. Funny how two weeks before I was granted dual citizenship, I had a flight outta this joint scheduled!) and ready to continue exploring and loving in Colombia!

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So here’s to writing more. And being more consistent. And sharing these adventures with you so that you might be inspired to go explore life too!

Back Again

La Puerta Falsa: Bogota, DC

La Puerta Falsa is one of my favorite places in Bogota. Tucked away in the heart of El Centro (one block from Plaza Simon Bolivar) and a total hole in the wall, it serves up some of THE BEST classic Colombian dishes.

I stumbled upon this place with my cousin a few years ago. We popped in for a quick bite after a long day downtown. It wasn’t until I sat down with a piping hot tamale, that I recognized it as the famed Puerta Falsa, seen on Parts Unknown and other foodie blogs across the web.

The truth is that while this joint happens to be my favorite, there are a dozen like them on the same block, all serving up similar dishes and all fantastically delicious and comforting. The menu is limited, but if you go with a group of 2-4, you can order one or two of each thing and all share (depending on how hungry you are); which is exactly what we did when the squad was in town!

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We were all pretty hungry after hours (just kidding, not even close) to museum perusing and exploring El Centro, so we each opted for our own tamales and shared a few beverages. The tamales are GIANT so if you only want a nibble, consider sharing. However, I do encourage the challenge of eating your own + chocolate. They’re too delicious and savory to pass up.

Different than a Mexican tamale, they’re wrapped in a banana leaf and the maza is much less sweet than you’d expect. (Did you know: corn is not sweet here like in the U.S.!) It’s filled with giant chunks of chicken and pork and corn kernels and warms you from the inside. True comfort food.

The tamales are a must but so is the Chocolate Completa (hot chocolate, cheese, and bread). If you’re really feeling Colombian, order an Agua de Panela (sugary water, cheese, and bread.) And definitely/absolutely dip your cheese and bread in the chocolate/agua de panela.

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When bae and his tamale photobomb you during lunch.

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We left with super full bellies and only paid 10 mil (10 thousand) pesos each! (less than $5 a person). For more adventures with the squad check out our album on Facebook! And be sure to give Red Wine and Lipstick a follow on Facebook while you’re at it for BTS updates!

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La Puerta Falsa: Bogota, DC