UPDATE: Sadly, La Milagrosa is no longer…get your stuffed arepas elsewhere.
Legend has it that back when the Spanish were having their way in this part of the world, a Viceroy arrived for duty. He became very ill after returning from a trip around Colombia and nothing could cure him. They gave him medicinal herbs and everything else they could think of but nothing worked.
Finally, one of his men suggested he try an arepa – the corn-based food considered to be sacred by the indigenous people. He ate it, was cured and from then on the Spaniards kept eating arepas (great source of energy for pillaging), referring to them as: LA MILAGROSA (the miraculous one)!
So at this quaint and colorful little arepería located in Bogotá’s Zona Rosa, arepas are the main attraction, of course. On this particular Saturday night they had already run out of arepas rellenas (thick arepas stuffed with good stuff) so we tried a combo of three arepas de tela (thin arepas that are served like tacos).
There are about a dozen fillings to choose from…we had Reina Pepiada (a very traditional Venezuelan filling of chicken and avocado), Costillitas (shredded beef), Pescadera (fried fish), Santarosana (legendary chorizo from Medellin), Vegetariana Especial (black beans, plantains,etc).
My personal favorite was the Reina Pepiada topped with their three delicious sauces – rocoto, chipotle and avocado with lulo juice! I was pleased to actually taste the lulo, one of my all-time favorite fruits in Colombia.
The verdict: very generously stuffed arepas and extremely filling. I probably would have been fine with two arepas but I wanted to taste as many filling as possible.
All of this was washed down with Gulupa juice – a fruit that’s in the same family as maracuya or passion fruit. It’s tart and delicious like maracuya but just slightly different in flavor. Initially I wanted tangerine juice, and my dining companion guanabana, but they had run out of most of their juices. That’s not a great sign for a restaurant but I’ll give them a second chance. Service was slow and predominantly so-so but that isn’t too surprising given that we are in Bogotá. Patience is a virtue.
Finally, dessert was another Colombian classic: Obleas. La Milagrosa’s version are smeared with arequipe and sprinkled with Milo!
Bonus: Been out dancing until 2 am and find yourself wandering the streets in a ravenous state? La Milagrosa is open until 4 a.m. Not bad, although if you consider that they were already running out of things at 9pm on a Saturday I wouldn’t have my heart set on anything in particular because that’s usually what has run out – Murphy’s law?
AREPERÍA LA MILAGROSA
Calle 85 No. 12-82
Mon-Wed.: 12 to 10 p.m.
Thurs-Sat.: 12 to 4 a.m.
Sundays: 12 to 5 p.m.