Great Colombian Food (Tampa)
I was lucky enough to visit a good Colombian restaurant a week ago. It is called "Antojitos," a shortened version of "Antojo de mi Tierra" (Cravings from my Land). It is a bustling place on Columbus.
They have great, giant pork chops pounded thin and fried--- as big as a plate. Their tamales are stuffed with veggies, meat and bones (for flavor). They have great meat pies: thin cornmeal shell stuffed with ground meat and potatoes. Great to dip in "ahi," a type of thin salsa made with chiles. Very tasty.
Great fruit shakes, light and tasty made with pureed fruit and milk--- very simple, drinkable, and doesn't fill you up. Lots of fruit flavors to try that i've never heard of.
Their portions are very generous, and served piping hot--- it's a Colombian thing. Very hot soups and beef stews (beef, veggies, corn on the cob, etc).
Fans of La Teresita take note: this place may not be quite as cheap, but it's much better food. Friendly people abound in front of and behind the counter.
I look forward to eating there again.
I think a different place is on Armenia, perhaps "La Tipica"?
We just a got a huge influx of immigrants and refugees from Colombia (thanks to a corrupt government and our ever efficient "war on drugs"), so at least three Colombian restaurants have opened in Tampa in the last year or so. This is the only one i've tried so far.
I'm shocked to find a 'hound that actually knows Tampa. A shame you don't post more often--- i'd love to compare notes! why not post some of your faves sometime? i'd love to see them.
Location conformed: Columbus and Howard.
I ate at Antojitos again the other day. Once again, great food. I tried all three of their stuffed appetizers: meat pies, stuffed potato and stuffed yucca. All were similar: starch struffed with shredded beef potato, etc. great stuff. The aji (salsa) is addictive, and i found myself putting more on with every bite.
tried some other kinds of fruit shakes, the papaya is my fave now. subtle, not too sweet.
The tamale is a little different. I was expecting big cuban tamale. Instead, I got a huge plate of food. They take tamal (corn paste?) and a variety of meats (cured pork, beef and chicken) and bones (for flavor) and wreap it all up in banana leaves, wrap it in foil and bake it. IT was tasty, but tends to get old fast. They spoon it over rice and eat it.
Very good stuff--- I have a new fave.
I agree! I almost went there yesterday...
They make a giant corn fritter ball that's magnificent...
Crispy on the outside, mildly sweet, moist, fluffy, and corny, on the inside...
And it's as big as a baseball!
I won't detail the whole thing, but my whole lunch was gorgeous... Like someone's grandmother made it for me...
I can't wait to go back...
re: Mild Bill
Wow, look how old school Andy is, 2001! It's nice that he even fraternizes with us newbies. Speaking of which, we should try to eat something together again in the near future. Back to Antojitos, it really is great. I am obligated to order the bandeja paisa when I go (steak, chicharon, beans, rice, plantains) but my wife always gets the mojarra (fried fish) which gives me order-envy. Life is difficult.
P.S. Reading back through that old thread is pretty humorous.
I have to share, praise, and recommend, this wonderful Colombian restaurant practically across the street from me in Town & Country...
'Mi Bandera' in the strip center with The Ranch House across from U Save...
Everything has just been SO fresh, friendly, and delicious!!
When my wife wants to eat out, she considers it a treat to go there----- which is saying something...
Being Italian / Argentinian, she's picky---- averse to the taste and smells of old cooking oil, and suspicious of restaurant's habits and conditions ------ which is why I get a lot of practice cooking at home....
I've been meaning to mention them...
re: Mild Bill
an old fave of mine,as you can tell. yeah, i've been on these boards a while. back in 2000-01, i felt like a lone voice in the wilderness. It is good to have company.
i alsoways get the pork chop (as big as your head), fruit shake, empandas, and stuffed yucca. I also like the fried fish and executive special (steak and eggs and everything else).
Antojitos, IMO, is the best Colombian food we've found in Tampa Bay (my husband is Colombian and I used to live in Bogota). The whole fried fish is delish. The various appetizers, such as the empanadas and stuffed yuca, are also really good. Stick-to-your-ribs soups and stews are Colombian standards; try the day's offering, which might include ajiaco, sancocho, or chicken soup. Finally, you GOTTA try the fresh-made Colombian rolls (which are popular street food in Colombia): pan de yuca, pan de bono, almojabanas (my favorite), or bunuelos.
And if you see a guy in a motorcycle T-shirt sitting at the counter exchanging jokes with the owner, say "hi"--it may very well be my husband, who is a regular at Antojitos.
Antojitos is SO GOOD
Totally hood location,but the grub is sweet.
I had the tamal and two guava drinks-the old lady had the T-bone.
The tamal came steaming hot wrapped in a banana leaf.
Gnarly big hunks of white&dark meat chicken with potatoes.
A jar of mild green salsa made it even tastier!
I have never drank guava juice so good!
It was on the verge of being a smoothie-and I think there is sugarcane juice in there too.
Cant wait to go back!
I'm with ya!
It's been one of my best new restaurant experiences/discoveries in the past year!
if you like moist, steamy, gently sweetened, corny, corn fritters----- they take that to another level with this baseball size gift from heaven that they always have fresh in the hot case at the counter...
I'll try to attach a photo....
Went to Antojito's on Saturday, we ordered the empanadas, the toungue, the fried fish and the sancocho which was quickly switched to the churrasco after I saw one go by. Everything was fantastic, my steak was sooo good. Nice and crispy on the outside and tender on the in. I love red beans and they make em very good. The fish was good and the toungue was good. My father's parents are Colombian so he was yuckin it up with one of the waitresses most of the time, we had a great time.
I have to confess however that this place is an exact copy of La Pequeña Columbia on Armenia, everything we had looked and tasted deliciously identical. The menu has the same dishes but albeit a much larger menu and the bakery is the same. I never asked, but I will bet they are related somehow.