El Corral – with the best burgers I’ve tried anywhere, the U.S.A. included.
Scrumptious, delicious, outstanding – it’s hardly impossible to find the right words for El Corral’s many hamburgers: ”Mexicana” topped with guacamole, ”Italiana” with mozzarella and parmesan, or maybe ”Al Carbon” double meat with for example American cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce? Take a look at the menu.
I got curious about the history of hamburgers and found some interesting stuff at Wikipedia. Anyway, some emigrating people from the German city of Hamburg were involved, as an old dish started to develop itself on the American side of the Atlantic.
But how come that Colombia now can pride itself with the best burgers in the world? I don’t know. Anyway, why not combine a visit to Caribbean world heritage city of Cartagena with a visit to El Corral in that same place? Life could be worse
El Corral – the most outstanding hamburger chain in Colombia, offering the best burgers I’ve tried anywhere, the U.S.A. included.
I had been told about this place before going, and my interest in good food of all categories made El Corral a primary objective for the journey. And yes – it’s a hit!
The company was founded in 1983 and now runs more than 60 restaurants in the big cities of Colombia. Most of them are in Bogota. There and in Medellin you also find a few Corral Gourmet restaurants that offer a more fancy setting than the typical fast food Corral.
But a plain El Corral place is fancy enough! By the way, dear Corral management, when do you come to Europe? Please?!
This ain’t no common pothole. What you see is a far too typical phenomena in Colombia.
In Cartagena as well as in Bogotá I found plenty of potentially very dangerous holes in the streets and sidewalks. Sometimes small and square, sometimes big and round – like the one on this pic from the shopping outlet area in an industrial zone of Bogotá. However, this one is quite unique since it’s actually been marked.
Maybe you guessed… yes, there are people more or less systematically stealing the lids from the sewage and cable systems! According to a Cartagena newspaper the market pays some 5.000 pesos, that’s less than 2 euro, for a nice metal lid. And then the city has to replace them for some 300-500.000 pesos, i.e. up to 190 euro.
Of course this bad habit of some thieves can have mortal consequenses. Going to the airport in Bogota before leaving, I noticed a missing lid in the far right lane of the six-lane-highway. Even though most locals seem to be well aware, a serious accident is bound to happen, sooner or later.
In Cartagena, the newspaper one morning topped with a photo showing a yellow cab stuck in one of those holes… But a solution is said to be underways – lids of fiberglass are cheaper and not as attractive for thieves. Till that’s implemented – drive with care!
Monday last week I got back to Barcelona, delayed by a little more than one day. Supposed day of departure from Bogotá was Saturday 29 October, but obviously the Colombian airline Avicana had suffered some serious problems: there was an over-booking of some 25 people! Well, they rewarded me with another roundtrip-ticket Spain-Colombia, and on top of that I got another Saturday in Bogotá.
The night was spent at a Halloween party with costumes, drinks and dancing. Previously under much more European influence, Colombia nowadays has a lot in common with the U.S.A. Halloween is one of those things. According to my very reliable sources, the children of Bogotá have been halloweening at least since the 1970′s, knocking on people’s doors begging for candy:
”Trick or treat, Halloween, quiero dulces para mí. Si no hay dulces para mí, se les crece la narriz!”
Anyway, Sunday afternoon I was back at the airport. After one last Colombian coffee, it was time for boarding and take-off. The trip went just fine, till arriving in Madrid… Avianca is quite an ok airline, but unfortunately they cooperate with the Spanish flag carrier Iberia. And Iberia seems to be a plain disaster. Since I arrived in Madrid one day later than originally planned, Iberia was lost in confusion about how to get me on the connecting flight to Barcelona. Especially, they were confused about where the luggage could be… Finally, I got on a flight two hours and fifteen minutes later than I should have been, after having suffered some rather insulting treatment by Iberia staff. The luggage finally arrived a few days later.
After all, I’m safely back in Catalunya. But the story doesn’t end here. There are still photos to post for you, and I still have some comments and thoughts on Colombia that I’d like to blog. So please stay tuned, and I promise to be back with more within the next few days.