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Tierras Colombianas

Tierras_columbianas_wall_artI’m not sure what it is with Colombians and excess (maybe it has more to do with my ordering style). Over the summer I became acquainted with potato chip, avocado, mayo, ham, bacon and tomato topped perros calientes. This weekend I met the bandeja campesina, an overflowing country plate. It makes me wonder whether a city platter would be heartier or more delicate.

Tierras_columbianas_arepa_chorizoI immediately liked Tierras Colombianas. The spacious all-booths set up and self-promoting paper placemats make me happy like a Latin Denny’s. Red foil paper and hearts were festively bedecking random surfaces. I particularly liked the cut out heart tucked beneath the wall art golden god like he’d crapped it out (ok, maybe he was just sitting on it). Romantic.

Tierras_columbianas_bandeja_campesinaWe ordered an arepa and chorizo appetizer despite anticipating massive entrees. Colombian arepas are smaller, paler and chewier than better-known Venezuelan versions. They don’t immediately give when cut with the side of a fork. The chorizo was tangy, green-speckled and herby and bursting with cumin. We ordered it to try a few bites, knowing it would likely end up in a doggie bag.

Tierras_columbianas_placemat_1James’s bistec empanizado, breaded beef cutlet, which also appeared on at least half of other diners’ plates, was practically the size of a deflated football. But I got the whammy. There was nothing bucolic about the long crispy-fat strip of chicharron, thin grilled steak, maduros, white rice, soupy yellow-tinged beans, a third of an avocado, arepa and fried egg crowning the whole beautiful mess. A spoonful of genuinely spicy green salsa completed the picture.

Sure, the country plate is a couple meals in one, and that’s how I treated it. I skipped breakfast and made a late lunch and 1 am dinner out of it. Never mind that an ice cream sundae snuck in between those two feedings.

Tierras Colombianas * 8218 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights, NY

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  1. Driggs #

    There is another wonderful Colombian place a few blocks away, on the intersection of roughly 85th and 37th avenue. The exact name escapes me (its got pollo in it). Its a bit more “upscale” and has an elderly man singing folk songs and waitresses dressed in the shortest tightest outfits. Its the Colombian hooters, but filled with familys and a great Mountain Plate. Oh and the flan is kick ass.

    February 19, 2007

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