There has been a phenomenon in Bogotá recently. (Well, perhaps not so recently and not only in Bogotá, but something that has only recently come to my awareness.) Argentines are following the footsteps of Venezuelans, flooding into Colombia. So, thanks to Kirchner, it’s now easy to get Argentine goodies such as their own empanadas (not like the Colombian one, but more like a cornish pasty) and alfajores in Bogotá.
I was lucky to have a friend who introduced me to Les Amis last year – a secret little home-like café tucked on the edge of Zona T (just behind Chamberi, the Spanish restaurant). Julia, the Colombia-born Argentine pastry chef churns out awfully good alfajores (a dulce de leche shortbread sandwich), sticky coconut tarts and flour-less indulgent chocolate cakes. Argentines may deem their sweets to be surperior to Colombia’s. I have to say this is especially true for the chocolate-based desserts and French style pastries like croissants. Not trying to spark any controversies here though. As an Argentine outpost, Les Amis also have savoury goodies – Argentine empanadas of all shapes and forms! Tomato with Gruyere, mushroom, cheese with cabbage, spinach, chicken, and beef! So good options for vegetarians too. You’ve got to be sensible with sweets, right? So, here’s what I do. I’d go and have an empanada, followed by a coconut tart, and then take away an alfajor and a chocolate and almond croissant for the next day!!!
The café recently turned 2 years old. Originally only a bakery that offered catering services (they even supply ciabattas to Juana La Loca), Julia and Sebastian have built up the café bit by bit as their customers started asking whether they could have a coffee with their pastries there. So the owners have since got the space next door, doubling up their seating area, and bought tables, a coffee machine, cutlery and crockery. Their eccentric taste shines through in the baking workshop-cum-cosy living room, with little seductive details like the second-hand 18th century style sofa, baskets of fruits, cookbooks, polaroid pictures, chalk wall drawings and even cheese grater lamp shades.
I love the place! I keep taking friends there since I am bored with the regular and rowdy chain cafes. You can have a nice chat with your friends without shouting, while watching their staff hustling away in the open kitchen. I hope this article wouldn’t turn them into a market, like all the popular places in Bogotá.
Carrera 14 # 86A – 12 Piso 2