Tuesday, January 31, 2012

La Cabana Paisa Grill

I love to travel all over the world but in the absence of being able to hop on a plane anytime at whim, I usually satisfy my craving for the exotic through food. Looking through my Food and Wine magazine, I started reading an article about Colombia. Immediately I was sparked with the desire to have some of their cuisine. I gathered my crew and we drove up to La Cabana Paisa Grill, located at 12743 Southwest 42nd Street.

It was a Sunday night and the restaurant was not too full. While there was no live entertainment going on at the time, I noticed they had a small stage in the restaurant, so after inquiring, I was told they offer live music and karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays. We looked over the menu and decided to start with a couple of appetizers. We ordered empanadas de carne, morcilla, and chorizos. Of the three, my favorite was the meat empanada. The filling wasn't the usual type of ground beef found in most meat empanadas, but rather a creamy mixture that was extremely tasty. There was a sauce on the table to put on the empanadas if you wanted a spicy kick to them, made of what appeared to be cilantro, green onions, red or black pepper, vinegar, salt, and lemon juice.


The main attraction was my entree. I had to brace myself when the plate arrived. Normally known as the Bandeja Paisa, it is called by another one of its names here: Bandeja Motanera. The Bandeja Montanera is a typical fusion cuisine Colombian dish, especially popular in the Paisa Region.  The dish, served on a platter because of its large portions and variety of ingredients, consists of carne asada (or you can have it ground), white rice, fried egg, red beans, pork rinds, sweet plaintain, a slice of avocado and an arepa. No, this is not a typo. All this food is part of the traditional platter! Since I absolutely love this dish, I've had it in several Colombian restaurants, but I have to say this was probably the best Bandeja Paisa I have had in Miami. The meat was succulent and cooked just right, which is important to me since depending on the dish, I like my meat to be to prepared to different cooking terms. The beans were incredible and the plaintains were tender and not overly sweet. Even the avocado slice was perfectly ripe!

I also got to try another entree called Chuleta Calena, which is a breaded pork steak topped with slices of onions and tomatoes, accompanied by white rice, their delicious red beans, thinly sliced homemade potato chips, and a large toston (fried plantain). The seasoning of the steak was flavorful and it was not dry, but rather savory.


By the end of the meal, we could barely breathe! The portions here are astronomical and the food is delicious. The service, I have to say  was average at best, since we had to call our waitress several times and despite the restaurant not being full, she didn't dedicate too much time to us. However, the meal itself was well worth the experience, and I plan to return and have my Bandeja Montanera again soon. For more information, their telephone number is 305 480-7667.


La CabaƱa Paisa Grill on Urbanspoon

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