Jabali – Culto al Cerdo

More and more often lately I’m finding myself on the escalators at Mall Plaza, heading up to the fourth floor and El Mercado. If you’ve been, you’re probably in the same boat as me, addicted to the food, the atmosphere, and the smells. If you haven’t been yet, I recommend dropping whatever you’re doing and getting over there, now.

El Mercado is Barranquilla’s newest smorgasbord of food, spanning the entire fourth floor of this new mall, packed with tons of high-end bistro-type restaurants serving up deliciousness in literally every genre you can imagine – from Italian, Greek, and Spanish to Indian, French, American, and Japanese. If you enjoy eating great food, it’s the place to be. There’s even one of my favorites, Porthos.

Dinner at Mall PLaza
My partner, his brother, and I enjoying dinner at Mall Plaza

Last night I went with my partner and his brother, expecting a tasty meal at one of our usual haunts.. either Gente de Pasta, Bourbon Street, or Stock Burger, but as we walked closer, the most incredible scent wafted by.. a combination of orange and searing pork.. and as we let our noses guide us, we wound up at Jabali. Damn. I’ve had plenty of pork in my life but nothing like this.

Jabali at Mall Plaza
Jabali at Mall Plaza

Unless you have some ethical or religious dilemma, you probably love pork, as I do, and these guys take it to a new level. The second we walked up to Jabali I started salivating. The owner immediately came over and showed us the menu – simple but appetizing – a great selection of… guess what? Yup.. pork! He recommended the Tomahawk burger.. 500 grams of pork burger topped with gigantic slices of bacon.. well. Say no more.

A pork burger at Jabali
A delicious pork burger at Jabali

Along with a trio of Stella’s, My brother-in-law and I took the Tomahawk while my partner Gabriel ordered the rack of ribs, which came smothered in a really nice orange BBQ sauce.

Ribs at Jabali
Delicious pork ribs, at Jabali

Now usually, when it comes to good food, I’m easy to please, and this was no exception. All three meals were cooked perfectly, were super juicy and very, very tasty. Each came with a really creative salad, the plating was nice, and the portions were fantastic – we were all stuffed to the gills. Oh, and the prices were spot on for the quality – around 40k for a meal and beverage.

jabali logo
Jabali’s logo, charred into the table.
Mike Chartrand
Canadian entrepreneur based in Barranquilla with his husband and 3 four-legged kids. Originally in global vendor management, Mike has spent the last 15 years in LATAM and now has several projects on the go, including Barranquilla Now and Urban English. These days, life is all about family and living La Gozadera!

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