Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cafe Coulmbia


Cafe Colombia
580 West Prien Lake Road
Mall Food Court
Lake Charles, LA
Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM $1 to $10
Sunday 12:00 AM to 6:00 PM

We now have a non-Mexican but still Hispanic place in the food court at the mall. It is Colombian. Donde Tonio gave us the barest taste of this before folding. This one seems to be much more authentic. By the last visit they were featuring more American and Tex-Mex items. Take my advice and try the Columbian ones first you will be pleasantly surprised.

First time I tried a dish that I had ate at Donde Tonio. Bandeja Paisa is named for a region of the country, Paisa. The other word loosely means mixture. You get a little of everything. The basis is rice and beans with sausage, fried pork belly and brisket on it. You also get fried plantains, avocado and a fried corn cake called an arepa. This dish provides opportunity for a variety of flavors and textures. The fork tender brisket, slightly sweet plantains, corny arepa, fatty pork belly, tasty sausage, and lush avocado play well against the bland rice and flavorful beans.

Next time around was Columbia Hot Dog, Empanada, and Pineapple juice. Their version of the hot dog consists of a decent wiener in a standard bun with mayonnaise. Then it goes wild. A layer of crushed potato chips comes next with some sweet pineapple relish topped by a slice of fried bacon. You get sweet, salty, savory, crunchy, and smoky in each bite. Not bad at all although I would have liked another one instead of the fries that come with it. The empanadas were like none I have ever eaten. They possessed a corn crust and were fried. The filling consisted of brisket, potatoes, peppers, and onions. Along with their mild sauce it made for a satisfying experience. They make pineapple juice from actual pineapples and it shows, fresh tasting.

Last foray I sampled two of the Arepas on the board. I got Arepa Madurmisso (Madrid style) and Arepa Paisa. They make a rather thick corn tortilla, split it and fill it with goodies. The Madrid contained ham, white cheese and chopped fried plantain. You eat it like a sandwich. Each bite contained salty, savory, cheesy and sweet. I ate it all in a trice. The Paisa contained elements of the plate lunch. A filling of chopped beef and fried pork belly with beans and a smattering of plantain, not as sweet but more of a savory punch. This is one for the pork fat lovers. The thick corn cake proved sturdy enough to hold the ingredients while adding its own earthy corn flavor,

Next time you are in the mall at mealtime take a chance. The flavors are outstanding

1 comment:

Matt said...

Amen! This is by far my favorite food at the mall. The arepa paisa is not to be missed and had a great tast combination. I worry that they will abandon the Columbian food in favor of less interesting flavors. The gumbo there has a pretty good reputation as well.