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Jul 27, 1998 11:05 AM

Some Colombian Restaurants in Jackson Heights

  • j

Some of the places I've been going to in the past
couple of weeks: Natives, Listo's, and Esmeralda de

Natives (Northern Blvd between 82nd and 83rd) is a fun,
lively place to go on weekend nights, when there is
always a big crowd. Don't order their grilled chicken;
it is tough and dry. I have not yet been back to sample
their other main dishes, but I will go back; the lure
is that they make the best tostones (fried green
plantains) I've ever had.

Listo's (37th Ave and 86th) is a puzzle to me -- I mean
my first impulse is just to rave, rave, rave about what
an illuminating experience it is to eat their grilled
chicken! Unfortunately the side dishes take away from
the beauty of the main course. Rice and beans are
bland, tostones are too thick and dry, yuca is not
cooked properly. Whoever makes the sides at Native's
should get together with whoever makes the chicken at
Listo's. Besides chicken I've also had stewed tongue in
creole sauce, which is great if you like pot roast (and
I do). Another Listo's attraction is the beautiful
decor and the live floor show (actually it's just a
live singer with taped music, but it made for a fun
dinner time).

Esmeralda de Colombia (Northern Blvd. and 83rd or
84th?) seems like a good compromise between the two --
I've only been there once, for lunch, but their side
dishes were very good (if not on the level of Native's)
and their pot roast was very good too. I'll be back
soon to check out the grilled chicken. This is the only
Colombian place I've been in that had a container of
salsa on the tables -- unfortunately not good salsa. It
was some heavy, vinegary glop that I would not put on
anything I was planning to eat.


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  1. I went to La Pequena Columbiana (Roosevelt & 83rd
    St) last night. The place is larger than it looks
    from the front, with a large back room. I had the
    chuleta apenada (breaded pork cutlet) with the standard
    side dishes, and flan for dessert. The pork and flan
    were very good, but the side dishes (arepa, tostones)
    were bland.

    I've never been there, but heard that Tierra Columbiana
    (one at Roosevelt & 82nd and one in Astoria) is good,
    with the Astoria place the better of the two.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tom Traub
      Jeremy Osner

      I've heard Tierras Colombianas is good too; I've only
      been to the one on Roosevelt, about 2 or 3 years ago. I
      don't really remember it that well.

    2. Wow, I finally had a _good_ meal at Pollo a la Brasa
      Mario on 83rd Street! I've eaten there many times
      because it's more convenient to my apartment than
      the better Colombian places in Corona, and hardly ever
      _bad_; but my meals there have never really risen above
      the level of fair to pretty good.

      Last night I ordered Frijoles con Garra, which I'd
      never had before -- it was good. The pinto beans are
      cooked with pig knuckles, and served with rice, maduro,
      chicharron (which remains only fair), and avocado. Very