I’ve been spending quite a few nights in Brooklyn lately. And that’s good too because it was one of my goals to spend more time in that borough and experience all it has to offer. Weird goal to have? I think not. There’s so much more to New York City than what’s in Manhattan, and I know a lot of tourists don’t have time to venture to the outer boroughs when they come here on vacation, but I have no excuse!
This past Friday, I was hanging out in Greenpoint with some friends and we needed to grab a quick, light dinner. One of them suggested we go to Cafecito Bogota, a small little Colombian restaurant. We managed to get seated right away even with a group of six, but I have heard there can be a wait sometimes, which makes sense since it’s a fairly narrow space.
The menu is divided between breakfast, soups, appetizers, main courses, mounted arepas, sandwiches, salads, and sides. I didn’t waste a second and went straight to the arepa section. The arepas here are wheat-free, round flat breads made with hominy, grilled, and topped with gooey white cheese, and whatever other topping your choice comes with. Unlike the arepas at Caracas Arepa Bar, these are served “open-faced,” instead of having filling sandwiched in the middle of the arepa. There are lots of options like the Almibar, which is ham, guava, and mint; the Calena, which is cilantro and garlic marinated shrimp, plum tomato sauce, and crispy green plantain; and the Medellin, which is rice, plantain-infused beans, and chorizo in a scallion and tomato sauce.
I got the Llanera, which has caramelized beef, onions in chimichurri, and avocado. I was pretty surprised by the amount of meat that was on my arepa. Look at all of that all piled on nicely there! Since I wanted a small dinner anyways, one arepa was definitely enough to fill me up.
If you decide to go with something besides an arepa, you can order dishes like Sudado de Pollo (chicken on the bone, yucca, potato and green plaintain stewed in onion, and tomato salsa criolla served with rice, and mesclun greens) and Bandeja Paisa (beef, chicharron, chorizo, egg, rice, plantain-infused beans, arepa, sweet plantains, and avocado). As for my experience, it was a totally new way of eating arepas for me–I admit I missed the “mounted” part on the menu and was surprised when I got my order, but I’m always down for something new. Especially when it’s tasty too.
1015 Manhattan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222