A Comer Colombiano Pues Mijo!


Natalia Rodriguez, Reviews Editor

Our Rating: A+

Colombian cuisine: a sacred tradition that is shared by all Colombians like an unbreakable and unspoken bond. Miami is home to one of the largest Colombian populations in the entire country, undoubtedly explaining the influence of the Colombian culture on Miami’s food scene. However, no discussion of Colombian cuisine in Miami would be complete without mentioning Mondongo’s. The restaurant is an iconic Colombian chain dedicated to serving authentic and traditional dishes that honor both Colombia’s heritage and culture.

Modongo’s first opened its doors in the 70’s in Medellin, Colombia, and found remarkable success. The restaurant then opened a second location in Medellin and extended its reach even further opening one in Miami. Mondongo’s is not only a taste of Colombia but also a taste of Antioquia, the mountainous “paisa” region of Colombia. Following all of the time-honored and traditional “paisa” recipes, Mondongo’s is truly a taste home.

“I love Colombian food, especially empanadas. Mondongo’s has some of the best empanadas I’ve ever had. They’re tiny but always crispy and freshly made,” senior Karina Wu said.

One of the most well-known Colombian dishes is the “bandeja paisa,” or as Mondongo’s calls it “Tipico Antioqueño.” This dish is no mere dish, it is a meal. A large bed of fluffy white rice fills half of the plate while a heaping mound of carne molida (finely ground meat), is placed beside it. A perfectly fried egg tops the rice and meat, the egg yolk dripping down as soon as a fork touches it. The rice and meat are bordered by a ripe and sweet fried plantain on one side, and a massive slice of freshly fried chicharrón, a crunchy and salty piece of a pig’s back. As if that weren’t enough, the main dish is served with a side of frijoles (traditional Colombian beans), boiled potato, avocado, banana, lime, cilantro and of course, arepa.

The beauty of the “Tipico Antioqueño” is the chaotic harmony of it all. The components of the dish are simple by themselves, but when brought together, they create a dynamic blend of texture and flavor that remains unparalleled. The egg and the beans bind the rice and the meat, while the sweetness of the plantain counters the saltiness of the chicharrón and the potato. A light sprinkling of cilantro and squeeze of lime lighten the dish with their fresh and sour flavor, so everything is not overwhelmingly hearty. The sheer amount of food that comes in one order is easily enough to satisfy two people or have enough left over for the next day’s lunch.

“The bandeja paisa is my favorite Colombian dish, but I’m never able to finish it all. I usually get one for dinner and then take the rest to school the next day,” senior Isabella D’ottone said.

The generous portions served at Mondongo’s are also reasonably priced considering the quality and flavor of the food. Mondongo’s is definitely worth every bite, and just about as Colombian as it gets.