Monday, October 27, 2008
Hey folks. Been a while, but we're back with a pretty good one. In addition to good cheap sushi, another thing that Han and I have really been missing here is really good authentic Latin American food like they have in Houston.
Casa Columbiana came on recommendation from Kiara, one of Han's classmates. According to her, it's basically a throwback to the original Dona Emilia's, a local favorite. Legend has it that Dona Emilia's rose to popularity in its original East Austin location before corporate sponsors partnered with Emilia to move the restaurant to the upscale location downtown. As time went by, Emilia either tired of the upscale restaurant lifestyle or clashed with the new owners, and broke off their business relationship. The new owners kept the name and Emilia re-opened Casa Columbiana in the original location.
The food itself is as good as you would imagine it. For appetizers we ordered the aborrejado (fried plantain with mozzarella) and the fried yucca. The fried yucca is an absolute must-have. In fact, it's pretty much worth making the trip just for that. The lunch specials are moderately priced, and are smaller-sized portions of their top-selling dishes. The Pabellon (or has Han calls, "Pantalones") is a delicious Venezuelan combo of shredded pork, black beans, white rice, and plantains [pictured left]. Han ordered the equally delicious daily special, the Pollo Guisado: a chicken quarter stewed and covered in yellow sauce [pictured right].
Also worth trying are the selection of fresh squeezed tropical juices that the restaurant offers. The lulo and the guanabana were both pretty good.
All-in-all this restaurant is a pretty complete package. Award-winning food, quaint but clean atmosphere, kind service, and great prices. A definite high recommendation.
1614 E 7th St