by Terry Gorman
La Fonda Latino Grill
5350 North Broadway
Colombia, tucked into the northwest corner of South America, has the happiest people in the world according to a 2015 survey by Win/Gallup International. One reason for their happiness may be their food. Form your own opinion by sampling the food at La Fonda Latino Grill at Broadway and Balmoral.
Our informal quarterly dining group began our meal with sangria, salsa and chips. Instead of sangria, you could order one of the fruit juices that come only from Colombia — lulo or guanÃ¡bana. Both salsas are spicy; the red is smoky and spicy. Other than the salsas, Colombian food is flavorful but not spicy.
We ordered two appetizers: Arepa de Choclo — warm and sweet corn cakes with melted cheese — and Queso Asado — pan-fried fresh cheese served with fig compote. We would definitely add these to our must-have list.
Ingredients common in main dishes range from pork, chicken and beef to tilapia and shrimp. Try the Pechuga de Pollo — grilled marinated chicken breast with rice, fresh plantains and an excellent homemade guacamole.
Some dishes come with green plantains. A filling and satisfying dish is the Tostada de Plantano — a crispy fried green plantain covered with your choice of beef, chicken or grilled vegetables and served with black beans and guacamole.
Vegetarians, have no fear; there’s plenty for you too.
The three desserts we all shared were a smash hit. In Andersonville your sweet tooth can’t do better.
(1) Rollos de Queso Crema — a fried flour tortilla filled with cheesecake and served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
(2) Torta de Chocolate — warm chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream and blackberry sauce.
Wine is half-priced on Tuesdays, a pitcher of sangria, half-priced on Wednesdays; the house Margarita is $5 on Thursdays.
Google the excellent article by Carolina Moreno from The Huffington Post titled: “23 Food Reasons Colombians Know What’s Best” and you’ll know what the fuss is all about!
This restaurant has a warm dark bar with tables in front and a raised, well-lit, quiet dining area in the back. That’s my kind of place!
Terry is a Park Tower resident and regularly reviews area restaurants.