If you haven’t caught on yet, Andrew and I are big big fans of eating the local dishes. One of the most famous dishes of Colombia is bandeja paisa. We actually first learned about this mammoth of a meal on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. As soon as the dish was delivered to Bourdain onscreen, Andrew’s eyes lit up and I knew we would be trying it for ourselves on our trip. Today turned out to be that day. Bandeja paisa consists of a pile of white rice topped with chicharrón, chorizo, a fried egg, a grilled plantain, beans, avocado, and arepa (a plantain patty of sorts). Traditionally, I think it’s a lunch meal. We were advised to share one hearing about how huge (and heavy) it is. To be completely honest, I wasn’t hugely satisfied with the dish until we had it again (a few days later) and then I completely fell in love with the different flavors.
The difficult part of the bandeja paisa is mixing everything together on the one plate that’s given. It’s a challenge and we weren’t always the neatest when doing so. I also recommend adding some spice to it. It gives it even more flavor and the sweet plantain, avocado, and even beans balance the spice out whenever it hits you.
Find a friend to share this beast with. If it’s not mouthwatering the first time, try somewhere else. Out of our three tries, we only really, really loved one. But it was worth it, sampling others!