For Latin American restaurants, La Pequeña Colombia is sort of a fancy place, with dark wood interior decorations and low lighting dominating the dining room. Tables have cloth napkins and the servers are in formal attire. But luckily it is Colombian to its core, with casual, friendly service and very good food.
I couldn't resist the arepa con queso ($3.95, below), which is very crisp on the outside and chewy within, in the style you might find in Medellín. The light cheese is browned nicely by the oven, and thoroughly enjoyable to eat. Just be clear though, you never put a sauce on an arepa.
Up close and personal with the baked cheese.
The last Colombian restaurant we visited focused on foods from the coast, while this one seems more broad. The Friday special lunch was the Bogotá specialty ajiaco ($7.95, below), a hearty potato stew. The chicken came to us on a separate plate, but is usually cut up and served in the soup.
You will also be served two small portions of cream and capers to go along with your soup. Pour as much or as little of both of these as you like and mix. The creaminess of it all and sharp tastes within will put you in touch with the Colombian blood you did not know you had.
Another lunch special is the viudo de pescado ($7.95, below), a stew that does not look that much different. Your dish comes as two parts, with the fish covered in a creamy sauce served on one plate and the stew of potatoes, plantains, and a buttery herbal broth in another bowl. Combine this as desired, not forgetting the rice.
The coffee here isn't great, so you are better off ordering a cold bottle of Aguila ($4.50), one of Colombia's lagers. Sit at the bar and enjoy it all if you are on your own, or take one of the tables when you come in a group.
83-27 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights NY
View Larger Map