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We went to Lowry Park Zoo this morning and ate lunch at La Pequena Colombia on the way home.  We’d eaten here once before and really liked the food.  This visit was more of the same homemade goodness.

Empanadas were first on the list.

They have a very creamy, tasty filling with a nice crunch on the outside.   I wasn’t going anywhere near the sauce served with it though.  Loren said it was spicy and tasty.

He went for the chicken fajitas with a side of chicharron.  That fried pork skin is one of the main reasons we’re back here.

He says it’s addictive.  Crunchy, porky goodness.   I liked the taste of his fajitas.  They had this carmelized flavor to them.  A little bit of sweetness and spiciness.  Much better than I’ve had at a lot of the Mexican restaurants around.  The chicken was very tender and there were plenty of leftovers.  I got the Arroz con pollo which came with chicken stew.

This also had great flavors and there was way too much of it for one meal.  The chicken was flavorful and tender and mixed well with some of Loren’s red beans.  I ended up ordering an extra side of red beans to take home with my leftovers.   Everything just has that homemade, authentic scrumptiousness.  Total bill with a drink was $32.

La Pequena Colombia
6312 N Armenia Ave
Tampa, FL
813-876-8338

La Pequena Colombia on Urbanspoon

Food5/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value5/5
4.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Colombian, Tampa
  • Something New


    Sure, we eat at Cuban Breezes a lot, but it’s not often that one of us tries something different.  Well, it wasn’t me, I went for an empanada and a mahi cuban.

    Still my favorite dish on the menu, though the mahi was a bit on the thick side today making it not want to stay in the sandwich very well.  The chicken empanada is so yummy.  We split it, but I could easily eat a couple of them by myself and not think twice.

    They  had jamabalaya on the specials menu today, so Loren decided to give it a try with a salad.

    He said it was pretty good.  It had chicken and sausage and a bit o’ spiciness.  Somewhat different than what you get at the Cajun Cafe, but still something he’d consider ordering again here.  With a drink, the total bill was $21.

    Cuban Breezes
    13980 W Hillsborough Ave
    Tampa, FL
    813-814-9939

    Cuban Breezes on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value4/5
    3.6/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Cuban, Oldsmar
  • We spent the morning at Lowry Park Zoo and stopped at La Pequena Colombia in Tampa for lunch.  The restaurant was packed, but luckily we were able to get a table.  We started off with some empanadas.

    These were some tasty little bundles of goodness.  We had to hold ourselves back from ordering a few more.  The filling had a really nice flavor.  Loren decided on the beef soup for lunch which came with a side of rice and beans.

    He really liked the soup.  It had a lot of flavors going on including a strong cilantro taste.  The beef was tender and it had a lot of different veggies in it.  The beans had a lot of flavor as well.  I went for a country platter which had ground beef, pork skin, rice, beans, plantains, corn cake, an egg plus a salad.

    There was a lot going on on this plate.  I didn’t like the ground beef that much as it had a strong cilantro flavor, but everything else on the plate was really good.  The pork skin had a very familiar flavor and was really addictive.  I think we narrowed it down to a flavor similar to the fried chicken at Publix.  I don’t know how to explain it, just that it was pretty darn good. The plantains were also very tender and sweet.  Half of this dish came home with us.  Way too much food for me.

    I also couldn’t pass up getting something from the bakery.

    Except for the fact the the pre-sliced edges were a little dry, the rest of the cake & strawberry filling was good.  There were several items in the dessert case that I would have loved to take home with me, but there’s always next time.  Service was ok.  Our waiter seemed to have a hard time understanding me and we had to wait a while before he finally returned to our table with the $25 check.  Overall, though, definitely a place we’d eat at again.

    La Pequena Colombia
    6312 N Armenia Ave
    Tampa, FL
    813-876-8338

    La Pequena Colombia on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value5/5
    3.7/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Colombian, Tampa
  • We drove up Hillsborough Ave tonight and ate dinner at Mi Bandera Restaurant.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve driven right by it and never even noticed it was there.  It’s in a small shopping center on the opposite corner of the Ranch House Restaurant.  The dominant language for both staff and customers is Spanish and the whole place had a very community type feel to it.  You could tell it has a lot of regular customers just by the greetings and smiles.

    Our waitress started us off with some bread which was quite awesome.

    Let’s face it, bread is one of my favorite things, and when it’s served warm smothered in butter and garlic, I’m one happy gal.  We ordered a couple of appetizers, some calamari and an empanada.

    The enpanada was very tasty.  It had a mixture of potato and beef in it.  It was very crispy on the outside and the flavors were excellent.  Loren really liked the salsa that came with it.   At $1 each, we should have just gotten a few of them. 

    The calamari, unfortunately, was the downfall of the meal.

    Completely overcooked and totally inedible.  It was like trying to bite into rubber.  Luckily our meals came out pretty quick.

    Have you ever watched Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives?  Do you remember the episode where the guy was making mofongo?  Well, they had mofongo on the menu and how in the world were we supposed to pass that up after Guy Fieri was so enthralled by it?

    Loren ordered it with fried pork.  It was interesting.  Fried green plantains smashed with lots of garlic, plus a whole bunch of other stuff in it.  It was very unique and tasty.  He said the pork was good too.  It came with another sauce on the side, a green chimichurri sauce that he really liked.

    I wasn’t feeling very adventurous tonight, so just ordered the chicken breast with mushroom sauce which came with three sides.   I got rice, red beans, and boiled red potatoes.

    The mushroom sauce was just like a marsala sauce.  It was very good.  The chicken was pounded very thin which made it a little tough.  The red beans had a lot of flavor to them.  There was enough food on this plate for 3 meals.   We both ended up taking a lot of food home for lunch tomorrow.  Our waitress was very friendly and seemed genuinely sincere about us having an enjoyable meal.  Overall, the flavors were very good throughout the dishes.   Total bill was $31. 

    Mi Bandera Restaurant
    7748 W Hillsborough Ave
    Tampa, FL
    813-243-8727

    

    Mi bandera on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value4/5
    3.9/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Columbian, Tampa
  • We’ve eaten at the Tia’s on Fowler Ave a few times and both times that we’ve sat in the bar area, the service has been terrible.  If you go in and the hostess starts to seat you to the right in the bar area, ask to be seated in the main dining room instead. 

    Once we finally got some menus, drinks, chips and salsa, we ordered some queso supremo, which is really the only reason I ever come here to eat.

    Mind you, we waited for a very long time before our waiter brought it out.  I don’t know what it is about their queso, but I just love it.  It’s the combination of cheese and taco meat that’s just so yummy.

    Because it took him to long to bring it, our entrees came out soon after.  Loren ordered the beef fajitas.

    He said they were pretty good, but it was more than enough food for him.  We should have just split them.  Instead, I ordered a pick three and got a chicken and beef empanada and a chicken taco.

    There really wasn’t anything on this plate that was very good.  The rice didn’t taste good and the refried beans were dry.  The beef empanda was extremely cheesy inside, but still better than the chicken one.  The taco was pretty bland.  Next time, we’ll just split something and I’ll stick with the queso.  Total bill was $34.

    Tia’s Tex Mex
    2815 E Fowler Ave
    Tampa, FL
    813-977-5025

    Tia's Tex & Mex on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    2.3/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Mexican, Tampa