HELLO FATTY WORLD. ONE YEAR LATER, I AM REBORN. Sorry for the hiatus (and it's not because I stopped eating, trust me)! My old job, wisdom tooth debacle, laptop death, and overall laziness were contributing factors for the disappearance. But........I have several good updates, which should keep me coming back to share all kinds of food coma-inducing experiences with you, namely:
1. A new job that's completely supportive of Fatty Kat. Holla! - L&L Holding Company, LLC
2. A summer schedule packed with fatty plans - I've already invaded Austin and Colombia, and now my sights are set on Southern Italy/Greece, Chicago, and Brooklyn (yes, for real). My bikini will NOT thank me.
3. A new laptop which equates to 235,398,002 new posts (mathematically speaking, of course)
In light of these wonderful developments in my life, I'd like to share my recent solo trip to Colombia with you. So I quit my last job in late April and decided to take a couple days for sun, surf, and stuff to eat! If you know me at all, you know I like to go to places people tell me not to go to--without running water, paved roads, etc. Colombia turned out to be a phenomenal food-centric experience.
I started out at La Puerta Falsa in Bogota where the typical breakfast consists of hot chocolate, cheese, and bread. Swear on my blog that this combination is magical! You're supposed to dip the bread AND the cheese into the steaming hot chocolate. The drink itself has a very concentrated cocoa flavor, a tame sweetness, and a slightly chalky consistency. In my book, it all works perfectly. I also ordered scrambled eggs and cornbread...just because.
I don't know about you, but I LOVE empanadas made with corn flour. They are sold everywhere throughout Bogota, but I found a nondescript place that only sells empanadas (good sign). My chicken-y treat was so crispy, so hot, and just so damn right.
I found a cheap restaurant filled with working professionals at lunch time. There was no translated menu (good sign), and no one spoke English (even better sign). My handy dandy iPhone dictionary and I made our way through the menu and ordered a fried fish with the typical accompaniments (rice, salad, plantains, yuca, etc.). Everything was delicious, my wallet was not harmed, and I was glad to be eating among the locals.
I had 2 fancy dinners in Bogota, but neither compared to any of my no frills meals in the city, so I won't even write about them.
After Bogota, I headed for Cartagena in the north to see its beautiful walled city and taste the area's Caribbean-influenced flavors (aka food with spices and coconut milk).
The first thing I couldn't help but notice was the number of fruit and coconut carts seemingly at every street corner in the city. I got screwed by one lady in a festive costume, but I soon learned that fruit and coconuts (my favorites) are plentiful and cheap in this tropical paradise!
For my first night in Cartagena, I decided to try some fusion sushi. The world wide web had great things to say about Tabetai, so I thought I'd change my food lineup just a little. The "house" sent out several amuse bouches, but the crab croquettes were the most welcomed into my belly. The salmon crudo with coconut milk, lime, onions, and plantain chips was a delicate and successful combination of soft and hard flavors. I also ordered a daily special roll that I have no recollection of...but I generally remember it was very good!
For breakfast, I walked around town for a while to scope out the morning scene. A modest bakery/cafe at a busy intersection seemed promising, so bought what the locals bought: pastries, coffee, and fresh juice. Selecting the pastries was essentially a blindfolded exercise with my limited Spanish, but I was happy with all the freshly baked goods I devoured (more not pictured; don't judge). Afterwards, I got another espresso-sized coffee on the street from a guy pouring the good stuff from a thermos. I call them entrepreneurs. You'll see a lot of that in this city.
During one of my too few days in Cartagena, I enjoyed a "snack" between lunch and dinner at La Mulata. I heard great things from the world wide web (where else?!). Plus, I had made 2 failed attempts to go there earlier in my trip since the restaurant closes at 4pm (good sign). Lucky I made it because their heavenly coconut lemonade, a staple of the area, was the best I had during the trip. La Mulata has a menu based on daily specials as you can see below. I slurped up whatever soup that came with my meal and got a ceviche-like dish with coconut rice and plantains. The well-portioned shrimp was a refreshing "snack" that wasn't too acidic. The carbs helped balance out the bite as well.
I made my way to nearby Santa Marta/Taganga on the last leg of my trip specifically to visit Tayrona National Park. The most amusing way to get there is by speedboat...before a hurricane...that's packed with 3x the number of people than seats. Think splish splash multiplied by a roller coaster (mucho fun).
Besides the pretty sights, I had a few great meals as well. I asked around Taganga and heard about a seafood restaurant on the beach that blends in with all the touristy restaurants. I had a snack in the afternoon and then returned for dinner with some new friends. Their mixed ceviche was the best ceviche I've ever had for several reasons: a combination of textures (corn, onions, peppers, and shrimp), mild acidity, and most importantly, fried plantains. For dinner, the chef/owner/server showed me the red snapper he was going to cook after I ordered it. Apparently, there are farmed red snappers being passed off as line caught ones? I don't know?! All I know is that my lightly fried fish beat all the other fish I had in Colombia. The juicy meat and various spices just worked so well together, not to mention the salad, fries, and coconut rice. Now you know; this is my heaven.
As you can clearly see, I had a @#$>!!!!#$@ blast in Colombia. I particularly love when people warn me about certain cities/countries and I can prove them absolutely wrong. I felt safe 100% of the time, ate my weight in plantains, and visited some ridiculously beautiful places. There are a few other experiences I can't really tell you about, so I'm saving those for myself ;)