Previously I’ve posted photos of Colombian street food vendors and written about my experience eating arepas.  But today I’m writing about one of the most intriguing elements of my street food experiences in Bogota: a Colombian style hamburger. At an affordable 2,500 Colombian pesos ($1.25 US) you can go to any major street in Bogota and get a burger and a small soda. When I first approached a hamburger vendor, I didn’t know what to expect. After asking for a burger, he inquired what toppings and condiments I wanted. Looking at his cart, I realized he had 7 or 8 different things to choose from. With no Spanish skills whatsoever, I knew that trying to decipher what everything was would be difficult, so I told him I’d take it all – every last topping and condiment in his arsenal.

Good thing I went with all the toppings, because as he pulled out a bun and tucked a burger patty between it, I realized one of the reasons they give you so many toppings: this burger patty was TINY. I mean so, so, so skinny. Thinner even than a plain McDonald’s hamburger.  After watching a bevy of toppings and condiments be piled onto my burger, I sat down on some nearby steps to dig in. This is what my burger looked like upon completion:

See that tiny little brown strip across the top? Yeah. Um, THAT is the burger patty. Not much to look at. So now you’re wondering, what exactly was the burger topped with? The first thing he added was pieces of raw onion, followed immediately by crunchy onion straws and then crushed potato chips. Yes, crushed potato chips.  The condiments included mustard, ketchup and Salsa Rosada, a sauce that is a mixture of ketchup and mayo with lime juice, salt, pepper and a dash of Tabasco (that’s the bright pink stuff you see most prominently).  But what about that gold colored honey looking substance you see in my photo? That’s pineapple sauce, a condiment made with pinneapples, water, sugar, cornstarch and lime.

A very interesting array of 7 different toppings and very similar to what you would find on a Colombian style hot dog as well. With so many additional flavors and a paper thin burger patty, you really didn’t taste much of the meat. But the cornucopia of flavors and textures in your mouth from the onions, crushed potato chips and 4 different condiments definitely gave it a diverse, robust and fun flavor profile.  Do you like trying foods with a whole bunch of different flavors in each bite? Then be sure to get yourself a street hamburger if you ever find yourself in Bogota.

3 Responses

  1. Ryan

    I have family in Colombia and have been a ton of times. That Salsa Rosada and crushed potato chips is awesome on hotdogs. Do they still have Gus (or Gus Burger) in Colombia? It’s a fast food burger joint that was really good from what I can remember.

  2. WWB

    Never thought of crushed potato chips in a burger, but I can dig it. Reminds me of getting french fries in my shawarma wrap at Shawarma King, which threw me off the first time I saw it. And which I don’t often do, since I’m usually getting french fries on the side, but it’s always an intriguing option.

  3. Lewis

    Thats pretty cool. I still like doritos in my PB&J’s for the crunch factor.

    Judging by the picture, its not just a hamburger, but a SUPER hamburger and SUPER combo!


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