Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Cornbread in the time of Colombia

Little cravings from the land of García Márquez

Nothing's likely to displace Mexican food as the object of my heart's — and belly's — affection. But I have been trying to learn more about a few of the other cuisines in our hemisphere by seeking out the small number of Caribbean and South American restaurants in town. This week, that meant going Colombian.

Place

Antojitos Colombianos

2851 Imperial Avenue, San Diego

Specifically, Antojitos Colombianos, a little, casual sit-down restaurant on the border of Grant Hill and Logan Heights. Bright yellow walls match the top band of Colombia's tricolor flag, and imported South American snacks, cookies, and trinkets surround an open kitchen counter topped by an overhang of terra cotta shingles, a common architectural feature in the homeland of Gabriel García Márquez.

Colombia take on a papa rellena: fried mashed potato ball stuffed with chicken, rice, veggies, and a hard boiled egg.

Antojitos Colombianos offers far more than antojitos, including a full complement of beef, chicken, pork, and fish plates served with rice and plantains. But given the restaurant's name, I wanted to focus on the "little cravings."

I'm familiar with the concept of antojitos from local Mexican bars, where the small plates commonly invite a comparison to Spanish tapas. In Mexican joints, antojitos feature different preparations of masa — the white corn (hominy) dough best known as the ingredient used to make corn tortillas and tamales.

A small storefront repping Colombian cuisine on the border of Logan Heights.

As I quickly learned from reading this antojitos menu, these Colombian takes use corn meal and flour instead of masa. To make masa, ground corn goes through a process called nixtamalization, which breaks it down on a cellular level so that it can be formed into a dough. With cornmeal, on the other hand, you get ground yellow corn that we more often see used to make corn bread or polenta.

However, corn meal doesn't easily form dough on its own, so the variety of bready antojitos served here mix corn flour with milk, cheese, and eggs. It's kind of amazing how many different ways this can go — even the popular empanadas here are made with corn flour crust instead of wheat.

At $1.50 apiece, almojabanas are small pucks of cheesy bread. Not bread topped by melted cheese; more like infused by it. Like the salty white cheese and egg mixture replaces wheat gluten.

Another $1.50 take on this formula, the buñuelo, is a spherical, baseball size corn fritter. While the salty tang of cheese is evident, the fried bread comes off drier, like a giant hush puppy. By far, my favorite of these cornbready antojitos was the $2 arepa. This cheesy cornmeal pancake resembles a latke, and eats like a cheesy polenta cake.

However, my favorite option has to be the $4.50 papa rellena. As Feaster Kirk K. pointed out a few years back, the softball sized fried mashed potato ball has a crispy exterior, and saffron rice and chicken inside. There's no fixed filling however, and when I tried it, the chicken and rice included peas, chili peppers, and a hard boiled egg. It's like a tricked-out version of a smaller papa rellena I found made with seasoned ground beef at a Cuban eatery earlier this year.

I shouldn't be surprised. As fans of geography already know, Colombia has a Caribbean coast. It also has a Pacific coast, which makes me wonder what similarities I'll find when I visit the Salvadoran restaurant next door to Antojitos Colombianos.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Need to have house empty in one week
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 23, 2020
Santee Room ($575)
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 23, 2020
HANDY PERSON WANTED
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Private/Personal Chef
San Diego Reader Classified ads
February 6, 2020
Binance clone Script
San Diego Reader Classified ads
April 2, 2020
Ad
Previous article

The coolness of south Oceanside's Moose Lodge

450 members strong
Next Article

San Diego open restaurants – North County Coastal

Pick up your order during the quarantine
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

The arepa, a cheesy cornmeal pancake.
The arepa, a cheesy cornmeal pancake.

Nothing's likely to displace Mexican food as the object of my heart's — and belly's — affection. But I have been trying to learn more about a few of the other cuisines in our hemisphere by seeking out the small number of Caribbean and South American restaurants in town. This week, that meant going Colombian.

Place

Antojitos Colombianos

2851 Imperial Avenue, San Diego

Specifically, Antojitos Colombianos, a little, casual sit-down restaurant on the border of Grant Hill and Logan Heights. Bright yellow walls match the top band of Colombia's tricolor flag, and imported South American snacks, cookies, and trinkets surround an open kitchen counter topped by an overhang of terra cotta shingles, a common architectural feature in the homeland of Gabriel García Márquez.

Colombia take on a papa rellena: fried mashed potato ball stuffed with chicken, rice, veggies, and a hard boiled egg.

Antojitos Colombianos offers far more than antojitos, including a full complement of beef, chicken, pork, and fish plates served with rice and plantains. But given the restaurant's name, I wanted to focus on the "little cravings."

I'm familiar with the concept of antojitos from local Mexican bars, where the small plates commonly invite a comparison to Spanish tapas. In Mexican joints, antojitos feature different preparations of masa — the white corn (hominy) dough best known as the ingredient used to make corn tortillas and tamales.

A small storefront repping Colombian cuisine on the border of Logan Heights.

As I quickly learned from reading this antojitos menu, these Colombian takes use corn meal and flour instead of masa. To make masa, ground corn goes through a process called nixtamalization, which breaks it down on a cellular level so that it can be formed into a dough. With cornmeal, on the other hand, you get ground yellow corn that we more often see used to make corn bread or polenta.

However, corn meal doesn't easily form dough on its own, so the variety of bready antojitos served here mix corn flour with milk, cheese, and eggs. It's kind of amazing how many different ways this can go — even the popular empanadas here are made with corn flour crust instead of wheat.

At $1.50 apiece, almojabanas are small pucks of cheesy bread. Not bread topped by melted cheese; more like infused by it. Like the salty white cheese and egg mixture replaces wheat gluten.

Another $1.50 take on this formula, the buñuelo, is a spherical, baseball size corn fritter. While the salty tang of cheese is evident, the fried bread comes off drier, like a giant hush puppy. By far, my favorite of these cornbready antojitos was the $2 arepa. This cheesy cornmeal pancake resembles a latke, and eats like a cheesy polenta cake.

However, my favorite option has to be the $4.50 papa rellena. As Feaster Kirk K. pointed out a few years back, the softball sized fried mashed potato ball has a crispy exterior, and saffron rice and chicken inside. There's no fixed filling however, and when I tried it, the chicken and rice included peas, chili peppers, and a hard boiled egg. It's like a tricked-out version of a smaller papa rellena I found made with seasoned ground beef at a Cuban eatery earlier this year.

I shouldn't be surprised. As fans of geography already know, Colombia has a Caribbean coast. It also has a Pacific coast, which makes me wonder what similarities I'll find when I visit the Salvadoran restaurant next door to Antojitos Colombianos.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Black & Decker Edger & Toro Blower
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 25, 2020
Apartment for sale in Tijuana in la colonia "Cacho" - $155,000
San Diego Reader Classified ads
April 2, 2020
2004 HONDA VFR800 $3000
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Computer Technician
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 30, 2020
Indecent Proposal
San Diego Reader Classified ads
April 2, 2020
Previous article

Ugly Easter

Why the aeriform view?
Next Article

San Diego open restaurants – Central

Where to get your pick-up order
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close