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Puerto Veracruzano La Costena

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I just wanted to herald this off-the-beaten-path taqueria. The owner bought what was a Mexican joint last year and kept many of those classic dishes (tacos for instance) while adding dishes from her native Colombia. The result is something similar to the nearby 9th St/Washington Ave stalwarts but with some pleasant surprises, like crisp Colombian cornmeal empanadas filled with beef, chicken, or vegetables. Today my wife and I, both hungry, split a platter (the name of which escapes me) of fried pork belly (!), fried plantain cakes, seasoned ground beef, beans, rice, and a fried egg. Plenty of free, freshly made tortilla chips were available, and addictive. For me, the highlight was the fried pork belly -- the chef had cut almost all the way through the meat in a criss-cross pattern, then sent the belly into the depths of the fryer. What came to the table was cubes of delicious golden brown, crispy pork belly, held together ever so gently by a thin layer of crisped, melting pork skin. Wow.

Washed that down with some horchata and we emerged completely stuffed and happy. This place is definitely worth a stop when the pork bug hits or when you're needing some simply seasoned but satisfying Colombian comfort food.

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Yow! Fried Pork Bellies? :blink:

I am so there. And it's closer to home than Tierra Colombiana. Most excellent.

A good empanada is a thing of great beauty...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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