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Nov 8, 2013 10:28 AM

Chowhound Meal at Sibarita - Report

Eight Chowhounds got together at Sibarita in Arlington for a taste of Bolivian food. It was all around a thoroughly satisfying meal.

We ordered:

Fritura Huankaina (fired potatoes in yellow mayo)
K’allu con pan (grilled bread with topping)
Platano con Carque (griddled plaintains stuffed with jerky)
Bocadillo de Platano (plaintain balls stuffed with cheese)
Sopa de Choclo (Corn soup, special)
Sopa de Fideo (Noodle soup, special)
Silpancho (Pounded Beef)
Lapping (Roast Beef)
Chicharron de Cerdo (Pork Ribs, on special)
Cordero (Lamb)

Only the plaintains stuffed with cheese were disappointing. The crispy version with dried beef was super tasty. The Lapping was a surprise hit, and the special Pork Ribs we ordered (normally available only on weekends) were highly seasoned and delicious. We also got a hot sauce on the table that was probably made from habaneros, so you have been warned! Of the two soups, I preferred the Fideo which had a really nice broth. The Choclo needed some help.

Other soups I've had here in the past, the sopa de mani (peanuts) and the sopa de trigo (wheat) are excellent, so I encourage anyone to try those.

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  1. Sounds really good. Is this served family style?

    3 Replies
    1. re: KWagle

      Bolivian portions can be quite large, but they are not served family style unless you go on the weekends. Regularly, the dishes are served with rice, potato, and some kind of salad on the same plate.

      On weekends Bolivian restaurants offer special gigantic platters that usually have five starches: rice, potatoes, beans, giant corn, and plantains along with the meat of your choice. A family would normally choose just one platter.

      1. re: Steve

        Hmm, does that make it harder to share dishes? I could eat about five of those things you list above, so I can't really get behind sharing in this particular case. :D

        1. re: KWagle

          To share anything, all you need is a knife. Well, except for soup.

    2. It was interesting and delicious stuff. I particularly liked the Fritura Huankaina, mostly because of the yellow sauce, olives, and other toppings. The ribs and lamb were especially tasty and I loved the hot sauce. The peanut drink was a not a huge hit with me but interesting for a sip or two.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tcamp

        There is a similar dish in Peruvian cusine (papas huancaina), but the potato is usually served boiled and room temperature like in a potato salad. In this prep, the potato was served in wedges, fried.

      2. Steve: how would you compare this place to Luzmila's or Llajtaymanta?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bob W

          It's hard for me to resist Luzmilla's, especially as an excellent source for saltenas and humintas. I still prefer Luzmilla's but it is not open in the evenings.....

          Llajtaymanta is a bit off-putting. Definitely more exotic, but I am not sure I actually loved anything there. The platters are stunning to look at, though.