Recova-Parke Lleras

January 6, 2008

This familiar restaurant on the Northwest corner of the park is a local favorite.  Recova means “hotspot” in Spanish and at times it can be just that.

Well know for it’s 2 for 1 and occasional 3 for 1 beer offers it also has a full menu to satisfy almost any appetite.

We particularly like their Nachos and stuffed potato skin appetizers.

They also serve a pretty delicious chicken caesar salad as well as a melt in your mouth filet.

The staff is incredibly friendly and actually try to use some of their English with Gringos to make you feel at ease and welcome.

The restaurant is also strategically positioned in Parke Lleras for some excellent people watching.  Afterall, that is half the fun of going to Parke Lleras in the first place.

 Recova has earned the Medellin Travel Guide seal of approval.

Medellin Travel Guide


Parke Lleras- La Grappa

December 26, 2007

Another of our favorite lunchtime hang outs in Parke Lleras is La Grappa;



Calle 8a # 37a 01 Poblado/Lleras


Prices between: $9,000 – $26,000

Specialty: Authentic Northern Italian Food

Comments: Mediterranean style atmosphere; they import all their ingredients, the service is excellent. They offer a daily lunch special that includes drink (glass of wine if desired) for 10,000.

Good imported wine selection. Some English spoken. Plan an evening to socialize.

Music: Wide variety of contemporary and jazz.

Monday through Thursday the low cost fixed price lunches are excellent. Fridays are not recommended because it is just a little pasta in a creamy cheese sauce.  Nothing to write home about.

Orleans in Parke Lleras

December 23, 2007

If you happen to be in Medellin on a Wednesday and want a really good lunch, you should plan to go to Orleans in Parke Lleras for their Wednesday Mexican lunch special.  Most of the people working in Lleras businesses, banks, shops, etc. will be there and the eye candy is tantamount to a sweet dessert.

It is one of the most popular Wednesday lunch spots in Parke Lleras so go early because it fills quickly.

The meal starts out with a Mexican soup, nicely flavored but not spicy (Paisas do not usually eat spicy food), followed by a mexican salad, and an array of meat, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and soft flour tortillas for making your own tortillas. Your table will quickly fill with small dishes of various ingredients.

Total cost for the meal is about $5.00 USD including drink.  Tip is extra.

Just be careful because you may not want dinner and an afternoon siesta is not out of the question.

Parke Llleras-Parque Lleras-La Martinera

December 16, 2007

We were in Parke Lleras last night for the Movistar Live Broadcast.  They had closed down all of Calle 38 set up tents, tables and some of the largest speakers you have ever seen.  My friend and I got there early to get a good table at one of the restaurants lining the street.  Unfortunately, everywhere we sat, the music was so loud you could not hear yourself think much less have a conversation.  Finally, we settled in at La Martinera, a Mexican specialty restaurant along the street.  We were kind of positioned between two sets of speakers that were at minimal, tolerable.

This was my first time eating there.  Nice menu selection, mostly Mexican but other offerings as well.

I settled in on the Chicken Fajitas (2) and a nicely chilled Aguila Light.

My friend ordered the Supreme Nachos.

Perhaps it was because of the party atmosphere along the street or because we were early (there was only one other table of people there) but the service was incredibly slow (for Parque Lleras standards) even thought there were about 10 waiters standing around doing…well, nothing!

Our food took about 15 minutes to arrive, all the while we sat there with an empty beer glasses trying to find our waitress to order a re-fill.

When the food finally arrived, it was cold.  The Faita wraps were hard and there was very little if any Mexican flavor to the food. We did manage to get a second beer and after dinner a third.

Bill came to 67,547 COP which we thought was very expensive (almost $17 each) for a plate of nachos, two fajitas and three beers apiece.

We realized why we were probably the only ones eating there as the other table was only drinking.

La Martinera in Parke Lleras is one to cross off the Medellin Dining Guide list of Lleras resturants to recommend.

Theme: Mexican

Beer: Very cold

Prices: Appetizers: 12,000-21,000

             Entrees: 16,000-27,000

             Atmosphere: Casual

             Music: Contemporary

             Overall Rating: One Star.  Not recommended!



November 20, 2007

Most people that visit Medellin, rarely get out of the Poblado or downtown area. There are a couple of small cities in the Zona Sur (south part of the city that are worth a visit.  Envigado, which is the next small communa south of Poblado has a rich history, a town square centered around a beautiful of church (which was quite common) and tons of great local inexpensive restaurants.  Great place to sit, have coffee or a meal (many times for less than $5.00), people watch and drink in the ambiance of this small community.

Just south of Envigado is the community of Sabaneta. Just like Envigado, it’s town square is centered around a huge old church.  Surrounding the square are row after row of restaurants, fondas, small bars, food vendors in the streets, a small amusement park with kiddie rides and people milling about enoying a Saturday night together with friends, family and loved ones.

There is an ambiance in Sabaneta that is kind of like being at an old country fair in small town USA.  The aromas coming from the street vendor food stalls is almost overwhelming.  If you weren’t hungry when you get there, you soon will be.  Kids are running around playing in the park while watchful moms sit nearby keeping an eye out for their precious little ones.  Dads are also nearby but may be in a bar watching a futbol game or chatting with friends. Young couples stroll by, hand in hand or arms around shoulders drinking in the various music emanating from the local bars.  Bright lights everywhere give the area an amusement park type of atmosphere. A lot of people seem to know one another and greetings are a frequent sight.

Making a decision of where to eat becomes a bit overwhelming because of the variety and selection of foods available.  Chicken, steak, Italian, Local Paisa food, Chinese, Burgers, food vendor delicacies and more.  We finally settled on a medium sized fonda called El Heublito.  It was probably as much the waiters standing out on the street beckoning us to enter as much as our hunger and thirst from smelling all the street vendors food being cooked.

We ordered a beer and pondered the menu.  Medellin is well known for it’s Angus and Brangus beef so a nice filet mignon (especially at about $8.50 each) sounded pretty good to all three of us and we placed our orders.

What arrived more than exceeded our expectations. Not one, not two but three 6 oz. bacon wrapped filets smothered in a mushroom gravy were placed in front of us. Thinking that we had forgotten to order any side dishes was quickly dashed when a separate plate of french fries, salad, their local cole slaw (salad tradicional. Made like cole slaw but with a vinagarette dressing instead of mayonaise), an arepa and beet/carrot garnish.

None of us were able to finish.  The steaks were cooked to each diners specific tastes, the service was incredible and the bill including 3 beers each with 10% tip was a whopping $15 each.

We felt very comfortable walking around Sabaneta, even though we stuck out as obvious foreigners.  We were greeted with smiles, holas and one young man even shouted out, “welcome to Sabaneta” as we passed by him and his group of friends.

Will we go back?  You betcha!  There are a lot more places and restaurants to be explored in this small community.  Lot’s more!

Medellin Fondas

November 18, 2007

Fondas (or small local restaurants) in Medellin, dot the city scape. They are usually thatched hut roofed, open air dining facilities serving up local Paisa fare in a traditionally decorated Paisa environment. Many service people wear traditional Paisa clothing and costumes.

In Medellin, there are everything from little hole in the wall fondas to some very upscale fondas serving a wide range of foods.

 There is little written about the origin of Fondas.  They were probably small family wayside restaurants where travelers could get a home cooked fresh meal.  The food probably was grown on the local family farm, the menu consisted of whatever was in season or had been butchered that day and more than likely was used as a source to supplement the familys income.

There are references to several fondas also offering weary travelers a place to sleep for the night.  Be it in a spare room, in a barn or just under the thatched roof area where food was served.

You will see fondas named, Mi Abuelas Fonda (my grandmothers fonda), Mi Tias Fonda (my aunts fonda); Marias Fonda, to Fonda Hueblito. 

Many of the patrons have been lifelong customers and go to the same fonda daily to dine, drink, socialize, conduct business, visit with friends, play cards, chess and other forms of entertainment.  For many, it is a home away from home where they are well known, respected, could probably forget their wallet one day and the owner would think nothing of it (knowing they would be paid the next day).

If you are visiting Medellin, you should experience a fonda.  Just ask a local which is their favorite. You may get lots of different answers but not many of them will be wrong answers.

Medellin Dining Guide-Parke Lleras-La Triada

October 12, 2007

One of my favorite restaurants in Parke Lleras is La Triada.  It is a local favorite and is generally very crowded from 8:00 till past midnight Thursday-Sat. night.

Their menu is varied and offers a good selection of appetizers, entrees including beef, chicken, fish, pastas, pizzas and even a few local dishes.  They have a full service bar, excellent service, reasonable prices and play current popular music in the background.

Like many locals, a lot of people make going to La Triada a night out with their friends.  They will eat, drink and socialize for hours in this very nice open air restaurant.

You may occasionally be interrupted by an occasional cigarette or gum vendor passing by but they usually leave you alone after a simple “no gracias”.

After dinner, you may want to wander next door upstairs to the Oz Disco.  Another popular local club frequented by the Parke Lleras crowd.

Hello world!

October 12, 2007

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