On the food wagon

By bogotapost September 1, 2015

Bogota Food TrucksAs the food truck phenomenon around the city gains ever increasing momentum, we visit some of the trucks and sample their offerings to find out which are the best meals on wheels

Colombia is no stranger to street food, but now a new food truck culture is taking on the great Bogota metropolis with gusto, allowing lovers of diverse eats the chance to try a whole host of international flavours and dishes.

If your busy lifestyle doesn’t give you the time to sit in a restaurant or simply if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, be sure to stop by one of the capital’s many food trucks. Here’s a selection of some of the mobile eateries waiting to satisfy your appetite for affordable, quality cuisine.

Diana Peña who runs El Andariego promises that her truck offers quality home-made and inventive dining. After travelling to the four corners of the world and studying gastronomy, she decided to start her own truck. The menu offers an excellent balance of typical Colombian ingredients – arepas, corn and plantain – with panela reductions, crab soup in panne cook, and other delicacies.

Roller Toaster

This truck offers an audacious sandwich selection, with some mouth-watering sauces. Their imaginative menu has plenty created with your vegetarian friend in mind, but also appeals to the group’s most hardcore meat-eater.

Francachella Cake Stop

If you’re after a healthy-ish, lighter snack, this is the truck for you. Their menu specialises in crepes, both sweet and savoury, perfectly complemented by a huge variety of smoothies, milkshakes and slushies.

Gorila Fusion

If, like me, you are a fan of Asian and Mexican flavours, Gorila Fusion is the perfect place for you.

My favorite dish is a resounding hit: bulgogi tacos. They’re light, yet filling and most definitely ‘nom’ worthy. The meat was tender, the seasoning was on point and it was just the right amount of juicy. And for those who feel good about themselves when eating fast food that contains some veggies, bulgogi tacos have plenty of lettuce, carrots, peppers and onions.

One tip: if you order fries ask for a serving of all three sauces (sweet chili gorila, chili mayo and tomato gorila). They’re to die for!

El Andariego Comida de Autor

With a nine-dish menu, the crowd-pleasers are ‘the delight of the sea’; herb breaded calamari rings served with plantain chips and a mesmerising arepa with chicharrón (Colombian-style fried pork belly).

I can highly recommend the incredible pork ribs with panela reduction sauce – the sweetness perfectly complements the tenderness of the meat. I’ve had a good deal of pork ribs before, and this mouthwatering meat is up there with the best.

El Andariego also serves fresh fruit juices. Sadly the strawberry watermelon wasn’t anything special, but that wouldn’t stop me giving El Andariego a solid thumbs up review.

I ♥ Choripan

When Juan Jose Valencia and Alejandro Albán founded I ♥ Choripan eight years ago, it was one of the first food trucks in the city. The business idea came from a friend of theirs who had been to Argentina and discovered the heavenly and simple combination of chorizo and baguette.

Valencia and Albán started selling choripanes at events including Estéreo Picnic, Puertas del Cielo and Corferias for three years. They then opened a restaurant in Parque 93 but discovered it was more profitable and innovative to sell from a food truck.

I ♥ Choripan is part of the Colombian Food Truck Association, which provides some benefits to those running a nomadic restaurant. However, the association still faces challenges getting permission to park food trucks on the streets, which is why, nowadays, I ♥ Choripan is based in the parking lot next to Atlantis shopping centre (Calle 81 # 13-69). You can find different types of chorizos “artesanales” made of beef or chicken and some special seasonal varieties. Valencia recommends the Chocineta, which comes with bacon and melted cheese and accompanied with Albán’s secret recipe of chimichurri, a total delight. Visit the place and I promise you will ♥ Choripan too!

Bacon Street

For Bogota bacon addicts, there is one food truck that promises to bring home the bacon, literally.

The Bacon Street food truck is located among a variety of other food trucks next to Atlantis Mall, but unlike its counterparts, the food truck focuses almost entirely on mastering one ingredient: bacon.

The establishment is true to its name. They offer bacon with every option on the menu. There are burgers, chicken sandwiches and fish ‘n’ chips on the menu, as well as a few appetisers – but fear not, the burgers and chicken sandwiches all come smothered with bacon, and fortunately, for those with a genuine fried pork fetish, you can always order extra.

The burgers, which range from simple to eclectic, take on a variety of personalities.

The Bacon Burger, the menu’s most simple, and at COP $11,000, least expensive choice, comes with the works — lettuce, tomato and onion — as well as a juicy patty, cheese and, of course, the ‘B’ word. The burger was well done but not overdone, and came on an artisan bun. It was delicious.

All burgers come with one side, some type of potato, and a variety of sauces, such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and garlic mayonnaise.

Although Bacon Street’s menu seems to be filled with typical fast food, they are on to a cracker: the addition of that salty, fatty ingredient turns even the most regular meal into something more palatable.

PHOTOS: Chantelle du Plessis
ADDRESS:  By nature food trucks move around, but you’ll find many of these at Calle 81 #13-69

By Alejandra Chipatecua, Eliana Rodríguez, María Alejandra Jaramillo & Anna Weldon