Tasty Tapas and Entrées at Calle Ocho

Calle Ocho
The ambience is what drew me to Calle Ocho.

The restaurant hides well. Its name is the same as the street in its address, a place already popular for two other restaurants, Ajiacos y Mondongos and Cafe Zorba.

Calle Ocho might be better than both of them.

I see no reason to pay 17,000 pesos for ajiaco when I know how to make it myself, and while I love Cafe Zorba, it is often too crowded if you get there too late.

That gives everyone the chance to try the tapas and tasty entrées at Calle Ocho, one of Poblado’s great new restaurants.

If I had to describe the cuisine, it’s fusion, a mix of French, Spanish and Italian, and I’m disappointed I didn’t try it sooner.

I only noticed it because I had a meeting nearby last year, ironically at Cafe Zorba.

For a moment I thought of the street in Miami, the specific section of it that runs through Little Havana, the city’s Cuban community, a place with block parties and great food.

At the restaurant in Medellín I loved the ambience, the colors and the tables and chairs, topped with a nice, white tablecloth, so I stopped in to take a look at the menu.

I went with two tapas, one with shrimp, the other with steak, and both were delicious. I would have stayed longer to try an entrée if I had more time, but I put it on my list of places to keep in mind.

A couple of months passed. I still didn’t try it.

I worried, after taking a great job in Bogotá, that I would not get the chance so I made sure, when I was back in Medellín recently, to squeeze dinner at Calle Ocho into my busy schedule.

I am so happy I did.

The first time I went, I tried the tapas. The second time, an entree.
The first time I went, I tried the tapas. The second time, an entree.

The entrée I had, the lomito al vino con camarones, was even better than the tapas, which is saying something, considering how much I enjoyed my first dining experience here.

The pork was cooked perfectly and topped with a tasty wine sauce, shrimp included. I had so much broccoli and potatoes on the side, it made for a filling meal.

The plate cost 24,000 pesos (about $10), nothing when you consider several factors:

1. It was good. Really, it was.

2. It’s rare I find anything that good for that price in Bogotá.

3. With how quickly Medellín’s popularity is growing, the same can be said for The City of Eternal Spring.

4. Did I mention the taste?

They have a great deck out back, overlooking Parque Lineal La Presidenta, and I am hoping the owners add some tables out there. One of them told me they are thinking about it.

I know I’m thinking about it. I would love to have dinner with that kind of view. Cafe Zorba has it, and people often try to get the tables that line the back-end of the restaurant, just for that amenity.

A park view might force me to update my post on the Best Places to Take a Date in Medellín.

Regardless, even if Calle Ocho never adds seating out back, it’s still worth a try. The food is always my primary concern when I decide whether I like a restaurant, and Calle Ocho does not lack for quality.

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