09 May 2011

Noches de Colombia



I knew I was going to enjoy myself here from across the street upon approach, when I spotted the old schoolbus that had been converted into a chiva rumbera, a bus that is common in Colombian cities that takes patrons around the city, imbibes them, and has a live band aboard.

That sort of festive spirit is inside as well, albeit slightly toned down. Salsa music is playing on speakers outside as well as inside.


When I go to a Colombian restaurant like this, I often cannot resist ordering the bandeja paisa ($14, above), described as a "typical country Colombian plate." It is much larger than reasonable people can hope to finish, but it offers a nice sampling of the steak, chicharrón, sausage, and the delicious rice and beans. It comes with a couple fried sweet plantains, a slice of avocado, and is topped with two eggs. While the steak is very nicely marinated, the chicharrón (below) is spot on, one of the best renditions of this delicious pork skin that I have ever eaten.


For something a little off-beat, try the pechuga Hawaiana ($11, below), a large thin slice of pan-fried chicken with a slice of cheese, ham droppings, and pineapple sauce and chunks on top. The dish does not necessarily remind me of typical Latin American flavors, but it is also available with pork, so they certainly stand behind this method.


At any rate, as any patriotic American knows, it's not a real meal unless you have a pile of leftovers in your fridge that night. These portions are good enough for two. There is definitely reason to be excited about your upcoming Colombian Nights.

90 West Palisade Avenue, Englewood, NJ
Colombian Nights on Urbanspoon

172 Broad Avenue, Fairview, NJ
Noches de Colombia on Urbanspoon

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