Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Things to Do in South Florida: Mini-Review of Bolivar Restaurant
Recently I was given the opportunity to go on a food tour, courtesy of Miami Culinary Tours, through the South Beach area.
One of the restaurants that we stopped at was called Bolivar. The restaurant, popular for fusing Columbian and South American cuisine, was one of those artsy places that I could spend a couple of hours in, doing nothing but eating tapas and having a glass of wine or an ice-cold beer. But I was introduced to something even better to drink during my food tour visit - refajo. I had heard of mixing beer with other drinks before, such as in a beermarita (margarita with beer) or a snakebite (beer with cider), but I hadn't actually tried any of those beer-mixed drinks. I didn't know what I was missing! The refajo drink is made by mixing a soda such as Columbiana (kind of like our A&W Cream Soda) with beer. The refajo we tasted at Bolivar was made with Columbiana and Aguila beer. It had a sweet flavor to it, and reminded me of drinking a moscato wine, but I enjoyed it far more since cream soda is one of my favorite pops. (Yes, I call it pop. I'm from the Midwest. Deal with it.)
The refajo, while good, wasn't even the best part about Bolivar. In addition to the drink, we were also able to sample patacón - deep fried green plantains covered in shredded beef - and an empanada - deep fried corn fillo pockets with meat inside. The food was hot, and crispy without the greasy. And while the fare was delicious on its own, I devoured it with the green sauce served alongside - so spicy it made my eyes tear up, but too mouthwatering to stop eating.
In addition to the food, I enjoyed the decor of the restaurant and found the pictures hanging on the wall to be vivid and entertaining. A row of locally-made wine lines the walls and the staff there are happy to explain the details of the food to those who have never had some of the menu items before. A wall television to watch the latest game of fútbol and a chic bar set-up complete the restaurant's appeal, and make me want to head back with my friends in tow.
I'm so glad that I was able to taste this on the food tour. There are so many great restaurants in Miami, and even if I had a million dollars, it'd be impossible to try all the awesome food out there. It was a real treat to be able to go on the sampling tour with Miami Culinary Tours. You can check out more about my trip here, or click here to go to Miami Culinary Tour's website to see how you can go on a food tour through Miami! You can also connect with them through social media on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Flickr. Happy dining!