Friday, December 16, 2016

Cartagena cuisine

So off we went to Cartagena for our "long weekend" getaway which was in the middle of the week because the four of us are retired LOL- and we can....

We hired a guide for two mornings and the rest was time to relax and attempt to find "cool" - Cartagena is hot and humid all year round and the "real feel" for the days of our trip ranged from 100-104* Fahrenheit... with little diurnal divergence to give relief....

but we still had a good time and some good food- because of course we would find some place to eat...LOL

starting with the most recent meal - here is a run down on our fun four days away-

before we headed to the airport for our flight back to the US we had lunch right near the hotel at a terrific casual place called La Mulata- fab food- fun atmosphere - an all around "find" worth returning to!

a wonderful complimentary fish soup to start - hot and flavorful!

above- my lemon fish and below Phil's pulpo

John had the rice & beans (above) and Barb the vegetarian rice dish- both looked wonderful and got rave reviews!

 the decor was artsy and welcoming!

I liked this meal as much as any we had and the total for the four of us was less than forty bucks - with drinks and two courses!

The night before we had the high end of dining in Cartagena at Restaurant 1621 - in the garden- truly lovely evening and very good food -

the crab salad was fabulous- three of us had that as a starter-

I had a fish dish, John had the steak, and Barb and Phil a seafood stew-

the desserts we less stellar- I had ice cream which was perfect for me - the other three had a chocolate cake they were less impressed with - but it ended well with macarons!

The night before had been somewhat of a fiasco- we had reserved at a place called

We got conflicting information on the location on google so we asked at the front desk and they directed us to the Ananda Hotel - we had drinks in the bar there as we had planned to meet more than an hour earlier-

When we asked about the location of the restaurant Carmen (located in the hotel per our front desk person) we were told they had moved and so we headed to the other google location to find it- we had plenty of time so we were not particularly concerned, Our reservation was for 8PM. We arrived about five minutes before our reservation time and found the place - but they weren't open...well actually the building was but the woman who greeted us told us they didn't open until Friday (this was Wednesday) - they didn't care that we had called on November 14th for a reservation- they claimed they notified everyone via email but since I didn't make the reservation via email - a shame for us...

SO - Restaurant Carmen can take a reservation but not keep a reservation - nor be bothered to inform those people who had made one that they wouldn't be honoring it. #badform - seriously bad form. We would have booked at Don Juan if they had bothered to tell us that they wouldn't be serving dinner on the night we had our reservation.

We left the restaurant already hungry and in search of a new place having walked across town twice... so we ended up at the closest place and had a real stroke of luck because the food was good and the service was as well!

the Spanish tortilla that Barb & John shared - was a classic upgrade with a garlic sauce that had a kick to it -

I had the crab cakes starter and they were fabulous! they don't look like anything special but they were among the best I have ever had.

Phil had the shrimp (I would say the exploding shrimp but that is what the dish looked like on arrival LOL)

both Phil and I had the pork cooked three ways for our entree and it was totally yummy! (Cerdo al Cubo)

John & Barb had the fish of the day -

overall a really good meal despite the fact that we just happened upon the place due to the bad treatment by Carmen.

backing into our first night's meal - we ate at La Perla and started with a fun sangria -

the tiradito nikkei - was perfect- could have eaten three more plates of this!

pulpo was also nicely prepared

John & Barb had a version of arepas (a local specialty)

As entrees Phil had suckling pig and John & Barb had salmon - I had the Chiefa rice dish-

a view from the street -

it was a cute and cozy place - and a very good meal.

So there are the reviews of the places we ate during our brief getaway to Cartagena Colombia! Stay tuned for more photos from touring the city!

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