BEST COLOMBIAN EMPANADAS - 2005
305-867-1013 In contrast to the snacky little Argentine and Cuban empanadas one tends to find around town, the Colombian variety is more of a meat-and-potatoes, meal-in-itself phenomenon. Loosely translated, empanada means "breaded thing," and in much of Latin America that something (chicken? beef? pork? cheese?) is stuffed inside a wheat-flour crust. But empanada chefs from the land of Bolivar use cornmeal, the result of which is a crunchier, more robust, and less processed Latin American turnover experience. Some Colombian restaurants in the county sell mass-produced empanadas, but Mi Colombia's cooks create their own, with a beef-and-potatoes recipe. You can grab a stool at the counter, which is really the only place to sit, pull over a big bowl of cilantro-chocked salsa, and dig in from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. seven days a week. At $1.20 (plus tax) per empanada, the big chalupa in your party may be tempted to order two, but be a wise enchilada and tell him to start with one.