The amount of English language restaurant coverage of Cali is limited online. Thankfully, my good friend was marrying a local, had been to the city many times, and and led me to plenty of good meals. My favorite lunch took place at La Barra, a “cocina tipica” that’s served traditional Colombian comfort food for breakfast and lunch since 1998. The two-story restaurant features wooden picnic tables and waving Colombian flags outside, with a small dining room and a white wall that reads, “Cocinamos con amor” (We cook with love). I’m convinced based on the hearty plates I ordered.
Chuleta de Cerdo ($25) features a boneless pounded pork chop that’s battered and deep-fried to a craggy crisp, locking in juices. Each chop’s plated on a banana leaf-lined wood plank with steamed white rice, creamy fresh-sliced avocado, and a clay pot filled with earthy stewed Calima beans that are well-seasoned, grow locally, and taste great over rice.
Since it was so hot and humid in Cali that day, I paired my meal with a big pitcher of aguapanela, a more refreshing, judiciously sweet cousin to lemonade that’s brewed with local sugar cane and lemon.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.