Thursday, September 30, 2010

From hell…Colombian style

Bogota, Colombia September 30th , 2010

A different entrance, a stairway, decoration and music… a wide wooden door and you are there… You are in hell.

This week I am in Bogota, Colombia for work and this is the first day I had the chance to go out for dinner with a dear ex-colleague that happens to live here now. She took me to the trendy “T” zone in Bogota to experience the hip nightlife.

Andres Carne de Res (something like Andy beef steak) is a must-go place in the outskirts of Bogota, and famous for its festive environment, eclectic décor and typical Colombian food. Well, this new place is called Andres D.C - which in my mind can stand either for Distrito Capital ( Capital District) or Después de Cristo (after Christ) – whichever you like the most; anyway this place is the new downtown branch of the same restaurant, inside a classy shopping mall.

The 5 story building is huge yet seems to be always full! The ambience is hard to describe, but to give you an idea, the hostess greets you surrounded by religious images, a huge one of “la virgen de Guadalupe” (our lady of Guadalupe), red candles, an old barber shop sign and a quaint fountain filled with ice and fresh plums (which you can eat if you feel like it), followed by a huge bar with hanging hearts, lamps, flames and funny signs, and then the explanation: a flashing sign telling you are at El Infierno (In hell). The same floor has dinner tables, not the classic kind, but the wooden almost medieval looking ones. Keep climbing up to the second floor, where a gigantic image of the sacred heart guides you to a small, narrow area, with a fire place, more tables and another bar. It is the Purgatory; the third one? That one has more light, more tables, people having dinner, behaving (kind of), drinking wine - that is “la Tierra” – Earth… the fourth floor is called “descanso” or a place to rest – you just have bar tables and narrow alleys, a place apt for a drink or two – but don’t take me wrong: even with limited space, it was packed!

Finally, the top floor is a semi-open terrace with umbrellas, angels, tables, another bar, more decoration, screens, music – oh you have that right… we finally got to El Cielo – Heaven my friend. Did I mention that all around the place there was live music (Colombian bands with drums and the best rhythm) along with ballenato, reggeton, and latin dance; live and definitively different “angels” and “demons”, phantoms wearing feather boas and huge bright colored sunglasses dancing and hanging from the ceiling; the servers were characters as well: young guys and girls featuring punk-looking hair, piercing, hats, long skirts… it was like being inside of a play.

The best thing about this place is that, no matter how harsh it sounds, it was the friendliest place!! Couples, business groups, middle aged and youngsters where having fun in a super nice way – and you didn’t feel harassed by the intensity of the theme, on the contrary, you just felt welcomed.

The food? Let me tell you about it! We had patacones con queso and chicharron – fried green plantain with melted cheese and homemade pork rind - I had a mojito and a house stout beer and both were super cool! The mojito was served in some sort of natural material made bowl (like a dried fruit shell or something) with lots of fresh mint and they brought my beer, in a frozen metal mug! Again, very medieval!

I had a great time; it was a nice way to melt the stress of an intense work week, catch up with my girlfriend and being out from my hotel for the first time in five days. I am now really looking forward to come back, this time with my husband to have a nice rumba night!

If you are ever in Bogota, this is a place you shouldn't miss!!!

Andres D.C
calle 83 12-49
Zona T
Bogota, Colombia


  1. Sounds like an awesome place. I like the concept of it all.

    I didn't understand what most of the food was though.

  2. I forgot to ask---I assume "reggeton" is reggae, but what is ballenato? If you could compare it to anything this white-bread midwestern would understand, it would help me complete the lovely picture you've painted...

  3. (I made a previous comment, but my computer refused--so here it is again, more or less)

    The sounds, the sights, the colors, the people...This sounds like the type of place where inebriation is not needed. You can get drunk on just what you see and hear.

    I especially was interested in the idea of all these different bands and different styles playing at once, in different parts. What a rich onslaught of sound!

  4. Wow, sounds like a journey in a building. But since I do not fly I'd say visiting Bogota is out for me.

    You did a fine job of letting me know what I'm missing though :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  5. Chumacita:

    I just want to say I LOVE YOU :-) you are a wonderful writer, friend, woman, etc. I've never been in this new place everyone talks about and for sure you made me feel I was there with you. Great story!!!

    Did you guess who I am? hahahaha.

  6. Sounds like a place I'd love to visit, not just heaven and hell, but Columbia. Thanks for sharing the details of this unique place.

    I'm sure hubby waits with open arms for your return home. Enjoy.

  7. Well they can't say you're all work with no play! Bogota evidentally rocks and on all five floors too. Wish I was there. Have fun!

  8. What a fun post to read! Following you from Follow Friday; looking forward to reading more.

    Jo Frances

  9. Amiguita, definitely an interesting place to see! One of those things that I will only get to see through your eyes, thank you!

  10. nice. sounds like a sensory experience...will have to check it out...

  11. isn't it great to push yourself....(in work, yes, thats a given) but to push yourself in play! rumba night also sounds like fun!

  12. What a fantastic building. Sounds great and huge. Have a Columbian friend who is currently visiting his country..:)

  13. This sounds like a place for me :) Awesome!

    Popping in from SITS!


We love your feedback! Gracias por dejar sus comentarios.