Great Colombian Food (Tampa)
- andy huse
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).