To tripadvisor or not?

Having worked in the hotel industry and being measured among the competition and within Loews Hotels by tripadvisor ratings, I never had felt compelled to write reviews. But since I’ve got the time, love this city and have learned to use this tool to my advantage, I’ve become a contributor.
Having been in the hotel and service industry for so long, I find myself being a generous contributor, I rather contact the restaurant personally if there is room for improvement.

Here’s the link to my contributions…


La Cocina de Pepina

A recent post in the New York Times inspired the latest outing, the ladies who lunch headed out to La Cocina de Pepina.

36 hours in Cartagena – New York Times, Sept 2014

Tucked away off Calle Larga in Getsemani, you’ll find this small Restaurant.

The menu is written on a blackboard, featuring Colombian specialty as well as specialties from the coast and Cartagena.

We indulged in fresh cherry and passion fruit (Maracuyá) juices as well as a great selection of appetizers and main courses:
Mote de Queso
Guises de Gallina

Here’s another review of La Cocina de Pepina:

Based on the size of the restaurant and this recent article, reservations might be necessary, the 6 of us (5 adults plus on toddler) shared 5 chairs and a corner table for 4, however, this didn’t affect the great experience we had. Besides the amazing food, Christian was an outstanding host and his descriptions of the food and dishes in both English and Spanish were fantastic.

When in Cartagena, 36 hours or longer, head to La Cocina de Pepina and indulge!!





The best Coffee shops in Cartagena are….

This is a definite must to me, to experience and try all five coffee shops that made this list!

I’ve been to Isabella’s, a restaurant here in Boca Grande only a few blocks from my house. I’ve always loved their cappuccino, but I also enjoy their breakfast and their smoothies and jugos.

Mila’s is a gourmet bakery! The cappuccino is being served with a mini brownie and a tiny glass of water with a mint leaf. The chairs are golden as is the atmosphere.

Last week, we tried Cafe de las Novias. We didn’t have coffee, but lovely sandwiches and great limonada de coco. I bought pie de coco to go and we “inhaled” them at home.



If the remaining two are as good as the three I’ve experienced, I’m officially in trouble!!

FM Restaurante (4/12)

By dining at FM Restaurante, we completed the list of 5 gourmet restaurants in CTG based on this write up:

FM Restaurante definitely deserves a spot in this list in our book! There’s a saying in German that the eye participates in a meal, and the saying a picture is worth a thousand words, how about letting the pictures we took while at Adam tell the story of a culinary treat, great service and a lovely bottle of vino tinto?

I’d say, when in CTG eat at FM!







Don Juan (3/22)

Another overdue restaurant review: Don Juan in the old city.
I had first read about this restaurant after googling “gourmet restaurants cartagena” and the following website came up:

We had been to Marea in July 2013 during our first visit to CTG, we enjoyed La Perla and Karib, so off to Don Juan we went.

The restaurant is located in the old city, next to Maria, the sister restaurant of Don Juan. It’s a gorgeous little place, we loved the decor and the way the wine was in a bookshelf like setting.


The menu had two types of pulpo appetizers, so we knew right there and then we’d have a lovely experience…just like any other restaurant in Cartagena, you get the table basically for the night, so the staff won’t rush you to order or won’t drop off the check with the (hated by me) “when ever you’re ready…”.

We settled on two appetizers: pulpo and an asparagus salad. Both were absolutely amazing.



For our main courses, we both ordered fish, I think both were from the bass family, however, different fish, different preparations.



As for dessert, we prefer to stroll through the old city and just get some helado when we come across a small place…on that night, we found a small store/bar (I think it’s called Mango) that sold helado and alcohol!!!

From the 5 gourmet places, we have been to 4. Reservations are made for the final one, review to follow!!


El Balcón (4/5)

While spending a day in the old city a few weeks ago, I had walked by El Balcón, both a Bed & Breakfast and Bar/Restaurant. As the name indicates, it has a very cute balcón overlooking Plaza San Diego in the Old City, our usual Saturday night playground.


There are only a few tables, some balcony seating as well as a handful of seats at the bar. The menu is straight forward, a variety of dishes representing a variety of influences/cuisines.

We ordered a Gazpacho and Calamares to start, followed by the Langostino special and Cazuela (seafood casserole). We finished our delicious meal with a maracuyá mousse with some chocolate drizzle — heaven in a cup!!!
The service was lovely, the food amazing, and it top it off, our waitress bought us each a glass of wine since we had none left to go with dessert. Yes — we will be back, not just because of the free wine, that just added to he wonderful experience we already had.