Now that I’m taking dance lessons at Santo Baile, I’m much more familiar with the restaurants and cafes along Via Provenza, a street a few blocks up from Parque Lleras.
La Bicyclette, which opened its doors in May, has the look and feel of a New York City burger shop. It immediately caught my attention.
For starters, the front door is huge. It’s actually the entire front facade of the restaurant. When the glass doors slide open for business, it’s as though the entire front of the restaurant turns into an extension of the sidewalk.
After wrapping up one of my dance classes, I stepped outside and noticed it was about to rain.
As I walked toward Calle 10, the sky’s opened up, and I decided this was my opportunity to take cover in La Bicyclette, while enjoying a meal at the same time.
The drink menu features the typical variety of sodas and fruit juices, plus smoothies, strawberry and mint aromatic tea, San Pellegrino mineral water, Italian coffee, and several kinds of domestic and imported beers, including Bogota Beer Company and Stella Artois.
The food menu draws on inspiration from both American delis, as well as French bistros.
There are seven burger options, plus additional toppings like bacon and caramelized onions (my favorite) for an extra 4,000 pesos ($2) each. There are about as many sandwiches on offer, including a reuben, pulled pork sandwich, and croque monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwich).
For my first meal at La Bicyclette, I kept it simple, ordering a maracuya shake (6,000 pesos, $3), the Savona cheeseburger (14,900 pesos, $7.50), and a side of fries with truffle oil (8,900 pesos, $4.50).
We’ve spent a lot of time covering the rise of burger joints in Medellin this year, and I’m happy to report La Bicyclette delivers as good a burger as any I’ve had in this city. Plus, the option to add truffle oil to the fries earns them extra points, as it’s an option I haven’t seen elsewhere else.
I’m a huge fan of truffles and truffle oil, and hope to see them featured more often on Colombian menus going forward (and not just in the high-end restaurants).
The truffle oil gives the fries an earthy flavor, so much so that you probably won’t see the need to use ketchup or mayonnaise.
Last, but certainly not least, are the desserts. I was too full to give any a try that afternoon, but it’s only a matter of time before I cave in and work my way through them.
The dessert menu includes four American classics, including: New York cheesecake with strawberry sauce, apple pie with vanilla ice cream, lemon pie with a cookie crust, and Belgian chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream.
All desserts cost 8,900 pesos ($4.50).
Including tax and tip, my lunch came to 33,000 pesos ($17).
It might seem a bit overpriced if you’re comparing it to the typical paisa burger and fries, but a fairer comparison would be to the cost of a similar meal in New York City. And in that case, I consider it on par, or a little better than what I’d expect to pay in the US.
As they say in France, Bon Appetite!