Totopos is just a few blocks west of our apartment building. It is conveniently located just around the corner from one of the paradas of the Transmilenio alimentador route called Villas del Dorado. Partly due to it’s proximity, we’ve eaten there three times.
The first time we stopped in, Totopos was just a hole-in-the wall; it was pretty small even according to Colombian standards. I don’t remember what we ordered that time.
The second time we walked over, they had expanded the dining area all the way to the corner. They had added tables and plants and mounted a flat-screen tv on one of the walls. We didn’t get to enjoy the ambiance very long, however, because the power went out for the whole neighborhood that evening. The cooks (teenagers or in their early twenties) first tried to prepare our orders by the light of a cell phone. Soon, someone found some candles and stuck them in empty pop bottles, which served in the kitchen as well as at our table. Joel’s order was a la carte. He liked the flauta better than the other thing he ordered. I enjoyed my super nachos, although it definitely had a Colombian twist: like their hot dogs and hamburgers, they seem to think that the more things you include on it, the better. The nachos included chorizo, mushrooms, guacamole and a bunch of other things that I didn’t take note of.
Third time’s the charm, eh? So this evening we went back, and this time I brought my camera. Joel ordered the Texan Rice, and I chose to see how they would define fajitas. The waiter took our order and came back with our two bottles of gaseosa pretty quickly. While we waited for them to prepare our food, we watched more commercials than the actual t.v. program.
Totopos is good at presentation. They’ve got spiffy square plates that are popular with culinary arts graduates. The quality of the sausage was what Joel commented on favorably in his dish, though. My fajitas turned out to be one fajita in a half-box served with some in-house made flour tortilla chips that had been drizzled with cheddar cheese sauce. If I had chosen to eat the fajita with my hands, I would have needed the box. The tortilla was almost like a crepe, and the filling was rather juicy; when I picked up the box a lot of juice ran out onto the plate. Thankfully, they had given us silverware, so I just cut the fajita up and ate it with a fork. The flavor was good, but I still am not a big fan of warm, shredded lettuce. I also think that they would do better to leave the beef out altogether; it is impossible to chew, and who needs it when you’ve got chicken, ham, sausage and mushrooms in there?
Although Totopos isn’t what I would define as an authentic Mexican restaurant, it isn’t a bad place to eat. The ambiance is pleasant for a neighborhood restaurant if you don’t mind young folks (the employees) chattering up at the counter. The lighting is good if you bring a book, and there are windows to look out of if you didn’t. The prices are reasonable and the presentation is thoughtful. We might be back.