Carbon de Palo – Restaurant Review

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Attention to detail makes Carbon de Palo a memorable dining experience.

Chiva front 320 sqMichael:  We are talking about the restaurant located at Avenida 19 No. 106-12. The company has some express locations but with those, while the great taste in food can be found, you miss the pleasurable ambiance that can make a meal special.

This could be a very short review and I could just say that the restaurant thought of everything to make the entire event memorable. However it is best for me to show why my thoughts are such. That we needed a reservation for a Thursday evening gives indication of similar thinking by others.

Graciela:  I have been dining at the restaurant for many years before even meeting Michael. Never has my experience been anything less than enjoyable. That is a comment that can only be made for very few restaurants in Bogotá.

The dining area started out smaller, but over the years it has enlarged. Service and food was excellent from the beginning, but overall that and much more has just gotten better with time.

When I made the reservation the person answering the phone asked me if this was a special occasion. Just so happened that it was my birthday and my husband chose Carbon de Palo because of its reputation and our past experience there.

We arrived to find sufficient parking places and attentive friendly attendants.

martini 2 150Michael:  One thing I hate is that when you have a party of two they give you a table so small that you have to play juggling games with the dishes. No such case at this place. Not only was our table big enough to accommodate everything, but they allowed sufficient space between them so that others do not turn into a part of your conversation.

Graciela:  The menu has a choice of both Colombian dishes as well as international type plates. Beef is the speciality and they do it excellently. They also offer a varied selection of drinks both with and without alcohol.

Excellent Colombian dish. Beef, potato, arepa, platano & sauces

Excellent Colombian dish. Beef, potato, arepa, platano & sauces

Tasty Colombian dish. Chicken, potato, arepa, platano & sauces

Tasty Colombian dish. Chicken, potato, arepa, platano & sauces

Michael:  This isn’t just any beef. The taste is better than anything I have had in the U.S.A. It is most likely it came from grass fed Colombian cows. But taste is nothing unless you walk out with at satisfied feeling in your stomach. Yes folks the portions are the correct size to fill you, but not over fill you.

Graciela:  Now for more details that other restaurants often miss. They remembered it was my birthday from when I made the reservation. I received not just a cake with candle and song from the wait staff, but a small chiva to remember the occasion with.

Michael:  For our North American readers let me explain that a chiva bus is a symbol of Colombia. They have a long history in the country. The basic concept today is a brightly painted and decorated large vehicle with bench seats. Now, in Bogotá, they are used for mostly special events, like touring the city. But in other parts of the country chivas work continuously and are a favorite with tourists.  Here is a photo of one from our writing about San Andres.

Graciela:  A photographer stood by available to take pictures of happy couples or groups.  We had one taken. It came in a hard card frame that could be folded back to sit by itself.

Michael:  Nothing but compliments from me to our server. He was professional in all aspect as all the employees seemed to be.

chiva side 320 SqGraciela:  Live music, mostly of Colombian origin played from a band on the stage on one side of the room. It had perfect volume to enjoy but still allow for a conversation.

Michael:  The real hit of the evening came when the entire wait staff took to the stage with song and dance. It was so impressive and entertaining that many people recorded them.

Yes, it is possible that many have visited other restaurants that also do much to make the customer feel special. But there are two things that I believe make Carbon de Palo different. The first is sincerity. You can see that those serving you enjoy their work. I get the feeling at other restaurants that the employees just go through the motion because it is part of their job. The second is value. You do not get charged two arms and a leg for everything the place offers.

Graciela:  Michael and I agree that Carbon de Palo is one restaurant that any visitor to Bogotá should savor before leaving.

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