Carried To Colombia
Los Arrieros Restaurant
76-02 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights
Hours: Daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Credit Cards: Yes, All Major
Moving to a new neighborhood is never an easy transition, especially when it is one as bustling as Jackson Heights.
Prior to my recent move to the area, Forest Hills had been my home. I had always felt comfortable in my old community, especially when it came to the restaurants along Austin Street.
However, coming to Jackson Heights, I now found myself in uncharted territory.
As I made my way down Roosevelt Avenue under the tracks of the 7 line, I was overcome by the diverse dining options my new neighborhood offered.
Thai, Tibetan, Indian, Italian - each step I took uncovered a whole slew of multi-ethnic gems.
Upon crossing 76th Street, I stumbled across what appeared to be a small home. A sign advertising homemade arepas - corn cake - hanging in the window drew me to the front door.
What I uncovered was pleasantly surprising.
The Los Arrieros Restaurant, whose name is Spanish for “The Carriers,” boasted a quaint dining room accented by Colombian relics and art work.
As I took in the ambiance, my waitress greeted me with a friendly “Hola” and showed me to my seat.
Glancing over the menu, I noticed a wide array of beef, pork, poultry and fish dishes. While I struggled with choosing a main course, I decided to begin with an appetizer.
Given their sign in the window, I trusted that the arepas would not disappoint. I went with the Chicharron con Arepa.
Stuffed with a healthy portion of pork belly, the arepa came out warm and soft to the touch. With each bite, I wanted more.
The pork was so tender and seasoned to perfection that it was almost enough to win me over completely. Yet, ever the critic, I decided to wait for the main course before I declared myself a fan.
For the main course, I chose with the Bandeja Tipica Los Arrieros platter, which was comprised of grilled steak, pork loin, charbroiled sausage, white rice, beans, fried egg, avocado and sweet plantains.
Yes, it was a lot of food, but I wanted to make sure this little mom-and-pop could deliver on taste. Despite my skepticism, they did.
The plate was stocked to the corners with food. I began with the juicy pork loin and crisp sausage and made my way over to the steak. The fried egg proved to be the star player of the dish. As the yoke smothered the plate, it drenched over the steak and transitioned into an excellent dipping sauce.
Finishing my meal with the consumption of my fried, sweet plantains – Maduros, as the natives call it – I officially proclaimed myself a fan.
Since my first meal, I have officially become a regular at the restaurant, and suggest all my fellow foodies do the same.
- Megan Montalvo