“Did you ever see the customers in health-food stores? They are pale, skinny people who look half dead. In a steak house, you see robust, ruddy people. They’re dying, of course, but they look terrific.”
And of course, this is how it should be and after several years of trawling the streets of Bogota in search of a fine piece of porterhouse beef, cut with appropriate thickness, and cooked to perfection, I realized, I just have to look for where the healthy unhealthy people go!
Far too often you’ll find meat in reasonable Colombian restaurants, by no means lacking in quality nor quantity, but for some reason or another carved into an inexplicable butterfly cut and therefore lacking in moisture, or, worse yet, resembling an innersole.
So, there are several strata of steakhouse in Bogota that range from the ludicrously expensive and pretentious to more down at heel, but, all of those listed below bar one have some sort of Argentine influence. If you want the best steaks in town you are going to have to source it from the Pampas of Argentina.
Biferia 69 (labiferia.com.co)
Elegant, well-located and with walls bathed in a luscious eating room red the emphasis is on the meat. This branch located in Rosales feels more chic and exclusive than the others, but once you start to carve into your sirloin all is forgotten as meat-eating is a fine social leveler.
Patagonia (the Candelaria)
Choose the centrally located branch of this Argentine outpost for lunch one day while visiting the city. The grill is visible from the tables, the ambience second to none and the wines on offer are amongst the best in town.
Mi Viejo (www.restaurantemiviejo.com)
Famed as the first Argentine restaurant in Bogota and located up the hill in the Candelaria, Angus beef is on offer and without doubt one feels transported to la Recoleta or Palermo in Buenos Aires. If you’re on a budget you can opt for Colombian beef over Argentine.
Andres DC (www.andrescarnederes.com)
Part nightclub, part cabaret, part cocktail bar and fulltime steakhouse Andres DC, the centrally located bastard child of the Colombian institution, Andres Carne de Res Chia, is an unforgettable evening out that will be forever punishing on your wallet.
Bonga del Sinu (Chapinero)
A costeno steakhouse, meaning that the chain hails from the Caribbean coast, the Bonga del Sinu provides you with a uniquely Colombian take on how a steakhouse should be. Perhaps lacking somewhat in character and ambience, here you can enjoy the aforementioned butterfly cuts!
My favorite animal is steak.