Friday July 6, 2012
I do not know of any good Colombian restaurants in Miami. Which is a real shame. I’ve been to Bogota, and the food is outrageously good and absurdly meat heavy. It’s typical to get a plate with three kinds of meat. A particular delicacy is Ajiaco, a rustic chicken and potato soup that comes with sides of sour cream and huge capers, all of which get mixed in. So how does Tienda Vieja, out west in Hollywood, stack up?
Well of course it’s amazing. It’s a little hole in the wall, but inside is charming and cozy, 1 part bodega to 3 parts restaurant. Do not let this photo fool you. While Tienda Vieja flies under the radar with no website and no real Yelp presence, by the time I was done with lunch it was nearly full.
The thing that you order in a Colombian restaurant when you don’t know what to order, and when they don’t have the Ajiaco, which they frequently will not as it is a speciality and usually only cooked once per week and available for a few days, is the Bandeja Paisa. Steak, chicharrón, rice, beans, plantains, arepa, and a fried egg. (Alas, no avocado.) The steak is really really good. I mean, it’s all really good, but you might have been expecting the steak to be tough. Not so. This thing is a tour-de-force, and it’s shocking to know that this is the “small.”
Colombian pastries! Colombian sodas! Colombian … Tropicana.
And yes, Colombian candy. It’s a whole nother world. You get a Supercoco to go after your meal, by the way.
I don’t know if I would drive all the way north to go to this place, but if you’re ever in the area, you should for sure seek it out. Meanwihile, I shall continue the investigation for an equally good place in Miami. I hear that La Moon is pretty good.
Tienda Vieja Restaurant & Bakery
4449 Hollywood Blvd