Well, howdy y’all.
At first you think it’s about “fame” and having a reputation the size of Texas. But if you get the play on words for the name of this Chapinero Alto restaurant (‘La Fama’ being an old Castillian word for ‘the butcher’), it’s all about meats and the time-tested tradition of curing. But you vegetarians from over the pond don’t despair! There’s coleslaw, a bowl of mac and cheese, and even a plate of fish and chips, monarchists might marvel at. And La Fama even has some darn good sandwiches just short of a picnic.
Of course, Texas enters into the equation. It’s everywhere: from the truckers caps suspended from the walls, to the Heinz Cucumber tins filled with plants against a red brick-and-mortar wall. Having spent time stateside, Daniel Kaplan and Santiago Arango, decided it was time to take the Texas barbecue out of Texas. In 2012, La Fama opened its doors and clients have been raving about this part of the South, in Bogotá’s North, ever since.
La Fama’s menu is a foodie’s road map, where the United States leads, yet some Colombian essentials add to a sense of place. I would have added the word “time,” but in fact, time, is exactly what you need to fully enjoy a sit down lunch or dinner in a relaxed atmosphere and attended by wait staff who are just friendlier than a Texas smile.
One of the guiding concepts at La Fama is that guests put together their own platters and which come delivered on metal trays and lined with butcher paper. Now, wantin’ to try some finger lickin’ good barbecue in Chapinero – as we all can’t get to Austin – I begin with a plate of smoked wings ($16,000) and a portion of onion rings ($10,000). The wings were succulent and not too sticky on the sauce. The remains quickly vanished into a small paper bag. The deep fried rings came with a delicious tomato and red pepper dip. I would have also tried La Fama’s corn on the cob and the grilled jalapeños with pepper jack cheese, but I needed to hold my horses, as the night was not getting any younger and a set of beers were on their way to our table.
If you like ribs, then La Fama has them smoked. You can choose 1⁄2 rack of ribs (350 grams) or if your appetite is slightly diminished after the rings and wings, then attempt the 1⁄4 rack of Baby Back. You even have the choice of locally sourced ribs or imported.
If you’re shy on pork and pork bellies make your stomach churn, then La Fama’s burgers are a sure bet. There are three options on the menu: a cheddar Cheeseburger with a 200 grams patty, a Veggie burger made from lentils and quinoa, and La Fama’s house special, the La Fama burger, with mushrooms, blue cheese and caramelized onions ($27,000).
While all the meats are subjected to a slow process of curing, there are Colombian cuts on the menu, such as the cow’s hump (morillo) which gives La Fama its very Colombian take on Texas. The slice of moist brisket in a small starter sandwich ($10,000) seemed a little too measured, and didn’t add, nor subtract, to the enjoyment of our meal.
Even though this restaurant really delivers on meats, it does have a vegetarian-friendly side, with an all greens La Fama ensalada ($15,000).
Even though we didn’t get around to salads, nor the ciabatta sandwiches with pulled pork or smoked turkey breast, there will be another pilgrimage to this venue, and which recently added to its menu the all-Southern “Burnt Ends.” And you guessed it. It’s smoked!
Calle 65 BIS No.2-85