The Secret — Best Pizza in Bogota

People like secrets. Maybe my favorite pizza place in Bogota isn’t actually a secret and I just hang out with too many new people…  okay, on to the pizza review.

Not a pizza but one of the prettiest dishes I've had at La Diva. It's salmon.
Not a pizza but one of the prettiest dishes I’ve had at La Diva. It’s salmon.

Julia’s (a chain): 12/13 (not a perfect score because their menu is limited… and not due to the annoying show-offy customers messing about in Spanglish while complaining about their doormen, maids, etc.): is considered the best Italian style pizza. It certainly is very authentic and my pizza had no cheese on it (or maybe I just didn’t look hard enough).

La Diva, Calle 93A-44: 13/13. Perfect score? Well, it’s a delightful little place. They don’t do pasta dishes (except when it’s a special, maybe Sunday night?). They have tables outside, upstairs, and in the main area. They have WIFI. The oven is fun to sit next to when it’s pouring outside. The place is decorated like the Sistine Chapel. The bathrooms are nice. The prices are reasonable. They have “brunch” on Sundays for 35,000 pesos (about $12) which is a set menu including coffee, mimosas, eggs, antipasti, pizza, and dessert. In various places, they state the hours for their brunch, but basically it’s from 12-3 on Sundays. The crew prepping and dressing all the dishes take great care and each dish looks like a masterpiece (but a larger portion than foam of foam). When I’ve arrived crusty from a bike ride, the staff have helped park my bike somewhere out of the thieves hands. I’ve been there alone and I’ve been there with other people. They are open every day (no guessing needed). On a Sunday, each of the four tables downstairs will be taken up by three generations of a local family. The only downside to this place is that the bathrooms are upstairs so if you’re sore from hiking… que pena. They do deliver so I guess I could just stay home.

Di Lucca, Carrera 13, #85-32:11/13. This is one of the IT places to be. The service is okay for a place overwhelmed with customers. The pizza is fine. They have lots of other dishes as well. I don’t really like that this place is always such a hectic place and so it can take a while to get one’s drinks or food. They also do delivery.

Archies (a chain): 11/13. I usually order from them. They also offer a large menu of items. I like that I can order it all online.

There are many other places (Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Dominos, etc.) as well including some food trucks selling pizza. I’m not much of a fan.

Indigo Grows on Trees

The indigo plant. Tie dye in back.
The indigo plant. Tie dye in back.

It really does. Indigo is made from the indigo tree. I can’t tell you much more than that but considering how denim has conquered the world, I think it’s kind of wonderful.

I went to this workshop in El Salvador. Perhaps more about that trip another time.

It Would Be Bizarre to Say No to Food

Two pieces of moose nose, one sans hair.
Two pieces of moose nose, one sans hair.

Once in a while, I find myself in a situation both familiar and exotic. I went to visit family up in Alaska, out in the bush, on the mighty Yukon, and found myself invited to a “potlatch” dinner. The village I visited is primarily inhabited by one tribe of native Americans and the food was truly Alaskan. I didn’t expect to ever be in a “Bizarre Foods” episode but I guess that’s what it was to my Facebook audience.

Fish ice cream.
Fish ice cream.

Sitting at the dinner, being served by the youths, it was a heartwarming study in respect. There was way more than enough food but only the elders got the choice pieces of seal blubber, moose nose, and jarred silvers (pickled “silver” salmon). Everyone got ham slices the size of lumber, pasta salads in infinite variety, fish chowder, moose stew, moose soup, spaghetti, jerky, pudding with marshmallows, slaw, goose, and more pasta salad. It was considered rude to refuse any food so every place setting was outfitted with ziplock bags so that everyone would have food for the taking.

I was raised to “try everything once” and to be polite… the moose nose was very sticky and chewy a bit like pig ear (if you know what that tastes like). The fish ice cream was interesting and I could see how that would be the best treat on a cold winter day as it provides fat, creamy tartness. I imagine that when cold, it’s even better. The three flavors I tried were cranberry, salmon berry (I guess from the pink color), and “black” berry which is a small pearl-like berry, smaller than a blueberry and not of much flavor. The cranberry was the best because of the tartness. The ice cream is only slightly sweet and I totally get why it’s called ice cream.

Now, don’t call me Andrew.

Aloha Hawaii

Never retire...
Never retire…

Paradise. That’s what is conjured up by the word, “Hawaii.” I had no idea what to expect but I guess I didn’t expect to be surprised. I was happy to be surprised.

Fine hand language.
Fine hand language.

I got a “lei” at the hotel but it was not made of flowers. It was made of dried seeds.

Looking right at ya!
Looking right at ya!

I managed to catch a welcome hula show. I guess I had expected to see young Hollywood style dancers and I was surprised by the age “diversity” of the dancers. They were graceful, but not wearing grass skirts.

The band.
The band.

All these photos are from a show on Waikiki beach.

As imagined, a hula girl.
As imagined, a hula girl.