While Getsemani was originally known more for its bars, clubs and being a dangerous neighborhood now it is becoming more upscale and getting known now for its restaurants, live music and cool bars. I hit a mix of old and new spots…
La Casa De Socorro
This was my first meal in Cartagena and it was a “taste of things to come”. La Casa De Socorro is one of Getsemani’s older restaurants and became so popular that a number of restaurants opened with like names. The menu here was almost NY diner sized and while a lot looked good my eyes went right to the seafood and the Cauze la Mariscos that I read about. It’s mixed seafood in a rich stock topped with cheese. They serve limes, crema, and salsa on the side and I requested a picante salsa. The salsa was house made,packed some heat and wish they sold it by the bottle. I’m not sure if it came with or I ordered it (of note, my Spanish is so-so and English is not commonly spoken in Cartagena)as a side but a mound of a brown flavored rice and two cookie like objects I think made of cassava and plantains came as well. The dish was delish and I washed it down with Aquila cervesa’s .The place itself is a big open space with very high ceilings, bright orange walls(this was a fairly common in restaurants here) wooden tables and chairs and lots of colorful art work adorned the walls(another common theme).
Bazurto Social Club
While known for it’s hot Afro-Latin-Jazz band The “Barzurto All Stars” this place has delicious reasonably priced food brought to you by Jorge Escandón the same owner(and friend of Mr. Bourdain) of Le Cevicheria in the Walled City. They serve plantain chips with a side of crema to start you off…which was great and a nice change to start a meal. The menu looks like a magazine including the cover girl cover shot. Jazz plays in the background and live Jazz starts at 11:30pm…though I was lucky enough to catch the All Stars practicing…these guys are good! They have a number of Ceviche’s on the menu and I ordered up the Mango Biche to start. Red Snapper with green mango and fresh ginger which was not only different, more more importantly amazing. For my entree I wanted to stay with seafood…but get something different, the Stuffed Squid with “Seafood Cocktail”(coconut milk ,tomato,peanuts) with a side of Coconut Rice more then delivered. To drink I ordered up the house drink called a Machaca’o (Rum, grapefruit , lemon, mint & touch of honey) which as a nice twist on a Mojito and then an Aquila.
This was one of my favorite spots and was bummed I only made it here once. Demente is a very cool spot right across from Plaza De la Trinidad, just look for the turquoise door. They have a full menu of Tapas and Drinks . I had the very good pulpo((octopus) ceviche with avocado and went Club Colombia beer to start. Since they have Aquila on tap (the only place I ever saw it) I had to have one…but with a twist. I asked for a Michalada. When they didn’t know what it was I asked for a glass of ice, limes, hot sauce and turned them on to one of my favorite summer-time drinks. Inside the place is decorated with mirrors of famous people and characters that vary from Warhol to Woody Woodpecker. Of note, they play great tunes, the night I was there they were playing some great stuff from the 60’s that made me feel like I was in a cool Spy flick.
Di Silvio Trattoria
As I walk down the streets on a Sunday night they are quiet…until I hit Plaza Trinidad…it’s packed with a huge ring around the square with someone entertaining the crowd. Most of the places in the squares outside tables are taken so I walk a bit up a side street and come upon Di Silvio Trattoria…I was kinda crazing pizza and always enjoy trying it in different places. I couldn’t decide between the Spagnola(Chorizo and Menchego) and the Marinera(Seafood) so the waitress suggested half/half…sold:) I ordered my Aquila…mispronouncing it once again and once again another great meal. Inside it’s white walls, Cerulean blue doors, with vintage Italian travel posters and local Art adorning the walls.