Los Quingos de Belén: "the classic meals of Colombia" Top 5 Page for this destination Colombia Restaurant Tip by richiecdisc

Colombia Restaurants: 40 reviews and 37 photos

  bandeja Paisa
by richiecdisc

Los Quingos de Belén was a perfect way to begin what would be a great culinary experience in Popayán. This upscale but still very authentic restaurant just on the edge of town specializes in regional dishes and while not cheap, they serve huge portions in a very charming atmospheric setting. There is a large outdoor seating area but we preferred to sit inside to enjoy the room's considerable ambiance. Service was efficient and very professional without sacrificing friendliness. Though it was relatively empty, you could tell it was only because we were there at an off time, mid-afternoon and that it surely was very busy for lunch and dinner.

I had the very typical Bandeja Paísa for 15,000 COP ($7.50) which consisted of ground beef, beans, chorizo, deep-fried pork skin or chicarone, rice, arepas, plantain, and half an avocado. It was topped with a perfectly done fried egg. I had this meal a few times earlier and while some were larger, this was by far the best quality one. Don't get the idea that it was small either, it was ample. This is a notoriously gut-busting meal and it being slightly smaller was not a problem, especially considering its superiority. The arepas in particular were very nice. Some places just give you packaged ones that are not toasted while these were very nicely done. The avocado was a joy.

Favorite Dish: Doreen had chicken smothered in mushrooms also for 15,000 COP. We were very happy to see luladas on the menu since we fell in love with this fruit drink in Cali and were hoping to find it in Popayán. They were 4000 COP ($2) each and a bit small compared to what we had become accustomed to in Cali. They also seemed to be made from frozen lulos so not really the best version of the drink we'd had. The bill came to 38,000 ($17) and I was surprised to not see either a service or tax charge as it typical of upscale restaurants in Colombia. The service was to good I rounded up the bill to 40,000 COP. He seemed very happy with the tip.

Our meals and experience was so good we went back for another meal since I had eyed a few great sounding one on the menu. This time I ordered their signature meal, Los Quingos Tipicos for 15,000 COP, which was quite possibly better than the Bandeja Paísa. This huge sampler had chorizo, blood sausage, cubed grilled beef, a tamale, yucca, and empanadas de pipián with their typical chili-infused peanut-based dipping sauce. This was really a big and excellent quality meal, possibly the best one I had in Colombia especially for range of food and authenticity. About the only thing missing were the arepas but it did have some nice wafer-like corn chips that went well with the salsa. D had another chicken meal, this one smothered not only in mushrooms but also ham and cheese, again for 15,000 COP. She had a limonada for 3000 COP and I went for a beer for the same price. I gave another 2000 COP tip since there was again on additional charges and the service was exemplary so our total was 38,000 COP ($17).

Price Comparison: more expensive than average
Directions: In Popayn
Price: less than US$10
Rating: 5
Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 13, 2011
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