Colombians are big bread consumers, which is probably why in every city and town across this country there is a panaderia nestled next to a church overlooking a public square. Bread accompanies the plantain leaf wrapped tamal for breakfast, the lunchtime caldo broth and in the evenings locals love a sweet round bread, known as roscón, all very Andean with little inspiration of the European bakery.
Bogotá is shedding its soft bread culture with a boom of artisanal breads and pastries. Demanding that breads be baked on the premises, ingredients such as chocolate, pistachio, sliced almonds can now be enjoyed without too much of a Google search.
Brot is not the most recent venue to join a cluster of upscale bakeries in Bogotá’s north, but since it opened in 1999 it has built an honest reputation for offering clients an excellent assortment of both the sweet and the savory. At Brot, one can enjoy a cappuccino at one of the tables inside or under the identifiable yellow awning of the front patio. Overlooking Calle 81 and a few steps down from the Carrera Septima, Brot, translated from German means bread. The coffee shop hence has an atmosphere of a walk in European delicatessen, where the only foods that could be missing are frosted Stolen cakes and the chocolate covered gingerbread Lebkuchen. Maybe for next Christmas?
With the presentation of fresh baked goods neatly stacked behind glass, Brot’s clients are regulars. They line up, are polite, order their cinnamon rolls and croissants for the family get-together. The house also serves a very Colombian pastry ‘heart.’
Founded by Juan Fernando Quintero, Brot is a brunch and lunch favorite for Cabrera residents. On Sundays it’s always a late starter as those who enjoy the Ciclovía along the Septima drop in with gear and empty stomachs. Bikes, baby strollers, the dachshund and babies (not necessarily in that order) share the open patio with waiters and tables filled with baskets of bread.
The lunches are light and generous. They include sandwiches for eat in or take out. There are choices in pizzas and quiche. The sandwiches are served on whole wheat bread with ham, turkey or smoked salmon as options. Brot also has a wonderful juice selection with locally grown favorites such as Lulo, Curuba, Guanabana and Maracuya.
With so much to praise at Brot, I have found the service to be strained. Where the pan au chocolat excels, the time taken between ordering a coffee and receiving it is slow. If Brot can just pick up the tempo it will continue to be one of Bogotá’s better stops for fresh bread.
Calle 81 No. 7-93