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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mojito inferno in Bogotá

Entering the funhouse
Andrés D.C. staff in shades and tophats greeting guests
The extensive hand-wound menu at Andrés D.C.
Lethal mojito served in gourd
Fried yucca
Andrés D.C.'s brass band throwing confetti and being loud 
2 Andrés D.C. actresses 
Dante's Inferno
Arepas being prepared in the kitchen
Why not?
Hammock, Jesus, waiter 
Fish ceviche (right), Uchuva berries (left) and
"Patacones con queso" (green plantain cakes with cheese)
Guacamole
Arepas with hot salsa
"Ajiaco con pollo" (Columbian chicken stew) with avocado, capers, rice and cream 
"Pinchot de Andrés" (tenderloin, chicken and prawn skewers)
LOCATION: Andrés D.C., Calle 82, No. 12-21, C.C. El Retiro, Zona Rosa, Bogotá
CATEGORY: Eating and dancing
DRINK:  Killer mojito
WE THINK: Hand over the $10 cover charge to the women dressed like Botero's colonial ladies - complete with fake busts and fat upper arms - and enter the madhouse that is Andrés D.C., the Bogota-based sister restaurant of Andrés Jaramillo's famous Andrés Carne de Rés in Chia. Spanning 4 floors that are each decorated with an unfathomable amount of kitsch paraphernalia to resemble a journey through Dante's Divine Comedy, Andrés D.C. is likely to be the weirdest restaurant you ever enter. After spending 20 minutes working your way through the heavy, hand-wound boxed menu, you will scream your order to the waiter. Probably several times to make it heard through the pounding music, occasional performances by the resident brass band and drunken customers breaking into song. It is customary to get up and dance during your meal. This, along with so many other fantastic distractions (a real one being the lethal mojitos), makes it easier to forgive that you never got the octopus ceviche you ordered and that the bill is somewhat incorrect when it finally arrives. Although the food is secondary at Andrés D.C., it is actually very good and worth a visit in its own right. The skewers were well-cooked and the regional specialties, such as the arepas, ajiaco and ceviche, quite delicious. The mojitos should be treated with a degree of care.

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