Hola de Colombia

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Early January, work tells me that I will need to travel to Colombia to help with a FY2013 budget either the end of January or the beginning of February. Me, “Can it be more towards February? I don’t want to be in Colombia for my birthday.” So, here I sit…in Colombia…without a kitchen to cook in. My mouth – no matter how much water I drink – feels like a salt lick. I have two weeks of this. *sigh*

Can I just say…altitude sickness is HORRID!  I was expecting something, but WAS.NOT expecting what I felt like when I woke up on Monday morning.  Shoot me now were I think the words I uttered out of my mouth SEVERAL times that morning.  I awoke early with a RAGING and I mean R.A.G.I.N.G headache.  Migraine-esque but they’re usually always driven by my craptastic neck.  So, I downed some ibuprofren and figured I’d start feeling better soon.

I traveled down to the lobby for coffee and a croissant and headed back to my room.  Logged on to my computer and thought, “Why did I eat that?”  Not to mention I ate something the previous day that did not sit well with me either.  As I sit there I’m thinking, “Please…do not vomit.  WTF is wrong with me?  Did I get some kind of food poisoning?”  So, I lay down again…  This would be a pattern:  sitting in the bathroom, praying I don’t toss the cookies, then laying down again.  I FINALLY muster up some energy to shower and then just put unmentionables on and lay there again.  Then the phone rings, “The driver is here to pick you up now.”  Crap!  Throw on some clothes, pack up my “purse” then head downstairs.  Not gonna try to eat breakfast today!  I see L in the hotel restaurant, grab a bread stick and head to work.

The key is to drink lots of water, is what I hear.  So me, with no pesos has to get some water and hopefully some nuts to help with the headache.  Thankfully, they were all very nice to me and lent me money for some water con gas e sin gas and some peanuts.  Heaven in a foil wrapped pack!  I nibble on nuts and drank water until about 1 where I actually had an appetite and was no longer feeling like death.  So, all in all it was a good day!  *snort*  I have not felt like that since, which is FANTASTICAL!

BUT, not all hope is lost! I get to visit restaurants like this one!  I’m not sure if the people with me quite understood why I was taking these pictures.  They will learn…  You see, my co-workers don’t know a WHOLE lot about me.  I did tell you they call me hermit didn’t I?  Didn’t I??  Well, there’s a reason for that…  I think maybe 2 know about this blog and only 1 will read it if I post on Twitter.  At least I think she’ll read it.  Anyway, back to the blue cactus.

So, we sit down and it’s like a house with tables.  V said they live upstairs, there’s no menu, and they cook whatever they want to.  Me, “Oh so like a restaurant of chef’s tables!  COOL!”  Yes…yes it was VERY cool!  They asked if there’s anything we don’t like.  Me with my cilantro abhorrence of course spoke up.  Oh…and no salmon please?  Okay!

First up, guacamole.   The creamiest, tastiest, most delicious guacamole you have put into your mouth.  The tortillitas I think they’re called are of course all hand made there and fabulous!  V had eaten there before and is used to this kind of amazing food.  L on the other… “OMG this is amazing!  It tastes sooo good.”  We would hear this often along with “This is my favorite restaurant.”  *snort*  I will say, it was an experience.

Next up are these dumplings.  Oaxaca cheese and chipotle, but not spicy chipotle, and I think beans?  The green stuff is a jalapeno and tomatillo salsa that was out of this world!!  The sauces themselves…AMAZING!  The cheese was creamy, salty, tasty.  Just perfect!

Again we hear, “OMG this is amazing!  This is my favorite restaurant!”  All of the plates are small and just enough to tease your palette and make you want more.  We heard this often from L, too.  Can I get more of that?

The muscles…tiny, succulent, tender, tasty, amazing!  They were cooked in a chipotle, white wine, garlic and some herb I’m not sure of.  They served a spoon with this round so you could eat the broth too.  I tried to taste the herb by itself and just couldn’t put my finger on what it was.

Shredded turkey topped with a black sauce like a mole but no chocolate, and topped with a grilled pineapple.  I could have done without the pineapple.  The sauce was rich with flavor and the turkey was, too.  It was nice and juicy.  Not dry at all.  This one was served as a small soft taco.

Okay…now this one I’m going to try to recreate when I get home.  It’s a slow braised short rib in a guajillo pepper sauce that was TO DIE FOR!  They shred it at the table and top with a relish of sweet onions and oregano.  Then you sprinkle lime juice on top before you eat it.  I could have face planted in the whole bowl.  There was a delicious richness to the sauce and the meat was just melt in your mouth amazing.

Heh…forgot to take a picture of this one before we devoured it.  It was chocolate cake with red berry sauce in between and vanilla ice cream.  The berries were of course strawberry and raspberry.  There could have been another one, but I couldn’t taste it.  The ice cream was very rich with vanilla flavor and something else I couldn’t put my finger on, but it did taste like birthday cake ice cream.  The icing was not too rich and had a hint of espresso to it.  It was…AMAZING!

So, if you’re ever in the area and want to try something excellent, Restaurante Agave Azul is your place to go!!  I can’t wait to go back there next week when my boss is in town.


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