Colombian Gold

An unusual array of desserts tempted our spirit of adventure: antojos (little fancy pastries) included cookies, wafers, and cheese slices; three fig desserts are listed - figs with cheese, figs in syrup, and figs in sweet cream - plus a rice custard, flan, and arequipe, a Colombian sweet prepared by blending sugar with sweet cream skimmed from milk, then cooking the mixture for five hours to thicken and darken it. As ubiquitous as flan may be in Miami, it is not a dietary staple in Berlin, so our friend found it to be the perfect ending to her meal.

We left Monserrate joking all the way to the door with our waiter. Our houseguest told him she didn't believe the story about the chef's tongue. "The proof is that nobody's at a loss for words here," she told him in Spanish.

"That's true," he quipped. "But who do you think is communicating on the electronic billboard?"

RESTAURANTE MONSERRATE
435 SW 12th Ave; 324-9730. Hours: Daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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