Tag: Food

La Mona Pizza, Macarena

by Alex on Nov.01, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

Calle 26a no. 4-45

(1) 3420831/3366408 (landline)

To call a landline from a mobile/cell in Colombia prefix the landline number with 03 followed by the region code. For Bogotá prefix with 031

Great pizza at 2,900 COP per slice, and, in true Colombian Economics style, buying a whole pizza costs more than buying the equivalent in individual slices. Cannelloni, spaghetti, lasagne and various starters, salads and stuff are also available, as is home delivery

Mona Pizza also has branches at:

Candelaria – Carrera 4 No. 12-19 Tel: 2821665/3427737 Cel: 312 449 3977


Quintaparedes – Carrera 45 No. 24a-09 Tel: 2692492 Cel: 312 449 3977

Find La Mona Pizza on the map here

Visit La Mona Pizza’s site here

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Is there chicken in chick peas?

by Alex on Feb.25, 2010, under Blog


Immortal words to those who watched Big Brother 2 nine years ago, words that I’m sure caused cringe much of the watching population of Wales, especially Cwmbran (Hey, that’s my home town!) from whence Helen (the owner of the above quote) came and I’m sure still comes.

The widely-cited across the t’interweb etymology of the word chickpea puts to rest thoughts of any ostensible linguistic link between the two non-genetically related foodstuffs:

The name chickpea traces back through the French chiche to Latin cicer (from which the Roman cognomen Cicero was taken). This may have been taken from the Armenian word սիսեռ (siser) which refers to the bean. This is probable because Armenian was spoken throughout the northern Middle East in the areas where evidence of the first cultivation of the beans has been found. The Oxford English Dictionary lists a 1548 citation that reads, “Cicer may be named in English Cich, or ciche pease, after the Frenche tonge.”

But lo, what is this? Take a closer look and you’ll see that the question ‘Is there chicken in chick peas?’ is totally redundant. Chick peas are hactually chickens, tiny little miniature baby frozzen chickens. Look!

I can’t believe that I’ve only just noticed this, being the cookingophile that I am. I wonder what new scientific discoveries would await me were I only to open my eyes…

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Twelve grapes and a stuffed pig

by Alex on Dec.31, 2009, under Blog

Apparently I have to find twelve grapes for this evening. And then I’m to eat one in time with every strike of midnight’s bells. If I succeed (and I read it’s quite difficult) then I’ll enjoy a prosperous two thousand and ten. It’s a Spanish tradition of about one hundred years and it seems that it’s made its way to Colombia, I’ll let you know how I get on…

A celebratory thing that is one hundred percent Colombian is lechona. It’s not Yuletide-specific but one was served on Christmas eve when we went with the guys from Cranky Croc (hostel) to Destino Nómada (hostel) for our Christmas dinner.

lechona-2 lechona-1 lechona

The meat is first removed from the pig and mixed with garlic, onion, peas and rice and seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin, shoved back in the pig which is basted with bitter orange juice and roasted for ages.

It sounds pretty tasty though didn’t have any, being a veggie and all.

Well, it’s a few minutes before midnight in the UK so HNY to all over there, we’re still wondering what to do this side, am sure we’ll come up with something good though wonder how I’ll fayre being four days into my month (or so) off booze!

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La arepa mas caro del mundo?

by Alex on Sep.16, 2009, under Blog

El fin de semana pasado me visitaron mis padres, se quedaron conmigo en la casa que estoy guardando en el norte de Londres. Hicimos muchismas cosas incluyendo una visita a Camden Market, lo que es bien conocido por artesanía, ropa, comida etc. Hay comida de Egipto, Israel, Japón, Jamaica, India, Francia y otros paises. Lo que me sorprendió fue encontrar aprepas y lo que me sorprendió mas fue el precio. Si, se que acá es mucho mas caro que Colombia pero pagar 13,000 pesos por una arepa es una locura no? Bueno, viene con queso o carne pero aun asi 13,000 pesos? Pagar 4 libras me parece mucho (eso es cuanto cuestan) pero saber que se venden desde 600 pesos en Bogotá marca una grand diferencia entre acá y allá. Talvez deberia de cambiar mis planes de montar hostales en Colombia y vivir una vida Colombiana acá vendiendo arepas!

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Bogotá at night, from on top

by Alex on Aug.02, 2009, under Blog

I’m sat in the kind of living roomy place in the Platypus Hostel in Bogotá and of the 9 of us here there are 6 with laptops – what a change since my last traveling stint in 2002. Robbing a backpacker in those days meant you’d be looking at a battered copy of Lonely Planet, some useless travelers cheques, at best a soon-to-go-out-of-date APS camera, some fisherman’s trousers and a couple of pairs of skidded pants. Nowadays you could jackpot it right up with a laptop, iPhone and massive 12 megapixel SLR. And, to be fair, robberies are pretty rife around here – La Canderaria in Bogotá. It’s a pretty place: an old colonial part of town close to the historic centre with lots of little eateries, hostels, universities and I guess guys with blades judging by the number of people I’ve chatted to recently who have been robbed at knife point. Now, don’t worry mum I’ve not heard of anyone getting hurt, it seems as if the local ladrones have discovered the easy targets that are non-attentive tourists wandering round a nice yet poor area supposedly laden with phones, cash and cameras. To advertise the fact that I’m not such an easy target I’ve recently purchased a tambo – an extendable baton that fits neatly in the pocket and can be drawn at a moments notice to suggest that they might like to seek out a less potentially violent source of profit.

Anyway, that is not what this post was to be about. I’d taken some lovely photos of the lights of Bogotá at night, was struggling to think of anything to say about them and now seem to have run away on several tangents. Oh well, back to the pics…

I’d not been out to a good good restaurant since leaving the UK – coming on for a year ago, and the other day booked a table at the restaurant on the Cerro de Monserrate, the big hill thing overlooking Bogotá with both a cable car and funicular railway to take you to the top. The decor, ambiance and general quality of service was fantastic which is a rare find in Colombia. It’s perfectly usual to go into a shop, bar or restaurant here and be consummately ignored for minutes on end and I’m sure hours were you to be happy to stand about unattended for that length of time to see if it would really happen.

There was a slight down side, and of course when I say slight I mean reasonably significant – it was a French restaurant which as a vegetableanarian is second only in the ‘what can you knock up for me’ stakes to dining at an abattoir. The meat looked pretty high-level though and value-for-money-wise at less than 11 quid for a Chateaubriand, anyone spending pounds, dollars or euros and not yet scared of all the zeros involved in spending pesos would be well happy with the set up. Wine though is a different matter, it being easy to spend 10 times the cost of your main course on a bottle, which amounting to significantly more than half the minimum monthly salary here in Colombia seems a little odd, especially considering how much wine is produced a few countries down in Argentina and Chile.

Anyway, all of this has nothing to do with the photos, and it’s getting late, so:

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Tostones, or maybe patacones

by Alex on Apr.30, 2009, under Blog

I first had tostones in Colombia, I think. But they were called patacones. They are, I guess, the nutritional equivalent of chips/fries and I suppose not so different taste-wise. I knew they were simply fried plantain but until last night I had no idea of exactly how they were made. If you’re a lover of both chips and diversification then read on to discover how to conjour up an alternative to the west’s most beloved deep-fried staple.

Some tostones, yesterday

(continue reading…)

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