Sibling recommendations: Colombian fast food edition

As someone who spends a large chunk of her time— both at work and outside of it— researching restaurants, reading up on what’s new on the dining scene, and telling people what they should eat and where they should eat it, I really love it when someone else takes over and does the work for me.

During last week’s pre-holidays trip to Miami, my sister took over the reins and suggested Los Verdes, a place in Broward county specializing in Colombian hot dogs and other fast food.

So here’s what I learned: Colombian food, while delicious, gets very few points for being aesthetically pleasing. But I’m ok with that. Sometimes it’s ok for things to be a messy jumble. That’s life, no?

A Colombian hot dog: apparently not for neat, dainty eaters

A Colombian hot dog: apparently not for neat, dainty eaters

Being the hot dog fan (examples 1, 2 and 3) that I am, it only seemed right to try one of the much-hyped (by my sister) Colombian hot dogs. When it came out, I wasn’t quite sure there was a hot dog involved because what was placed before us looked like a splayed out hot dog bun under a small mountain of crushed potato chips and sauce, a round, little quail egg plopped on top. The two sauces, a sweet pink sauce (probably a mayo-ketchup combo) and the sweet pineapple sauce, were no ketchup and mustard but they were good and put a whole new spin on the dog. Biting into this monster, stuff went every and got smeared on everything, but all of it was good. The different textures were fun and the different flavors were interesting when eaten with the buried hot dog. Sure, I probably should’ve worn a poncho to eat this thing, but I enjoyed it all the same.

A mess of a burger

All this mess and I hadn’t even touched it yet.

Next on the tour of wildly messy but tasty Colombian foods was the chicken burger, which was more of a chicken sandwich than a burger (breast not patty) and included more of the same ingredients from the hot dog. The towering “burger” seemed to spill out from underneath its bun, sauces oozing, melted cheese dripping down, lettuce, tomato and bacon jutting out from everywhere, on top of the seeming explosion of crushed potato chips. Again, not exactly date food (at least not first date, if you ask me) but since I was there with family, I might as well have been invisible for all I cared.


Maicito, Colombian for mountain of food involving corn… or something like that

Last and probably my favorite of the three, was a Colombian maicito with chicken, basically a bed of loose corn kernels topped with— yup, more of the same— mozzarella, sauces (pink and pineapple), chopped chicken, and the by now ubiquitous crushed potato chips. Ok, so Los Verdes is kind of repetitive with their toppings, but there’s good reason for it: mixed all together into a sloppy, mushy mess, they’re delicious! This plate, with the sweetness of the loose corn, was oh so tasty.

Points to my sister for an interesting, ridiculously filling, messy but delicious recommendation, even if she did leave out the fact that I would need protective gear to eat it.


Living the dream

Coffee cake ice cream sample

I lived out one of my ultimate fat-kid dreams this weekend when the beau and I went to the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, Vermont. We originally went to Vermont not to eat ice cream but instead to get out of the city for a bit, see some of that Mother Nature people are always talking about, and do some snowboarding. But when I proved an absolute failure at snowboarding (not surprisingly), Flaneur indulged me with a trip to the tie dyed, cow happy, ice cream wonderland that is the Ben & Jerry’s factory.

Yes, I went on the tour. Yes, I had ice cream. Yes, I almost bought a tie dyed T-shirt. And yes, I was the happiest fat kid there. Did you know employees take home up to three pints a day? Madness! I know! Hey Ben, hey Jerry, are you guys hiring??

My second helping of ice cream: Seven Layer Bar

Needless to say, my favorite part of the tour was at the end, when everyone got a sample of a flavor not currently available for purchase because it’s still being worked on and taste tested by the flavor gurus whose job it is to concoct crazy combinations and wild flavors. (Coming up with things like Chunky Monkey, Phish Phood and Cherry Garcia? Heeellloooo DREAM JOB.) The sample during our tour was Coffee Cake, a creamy, slightly chocolatey tasting coffee ice cream with fluffy, sweet hunks of coffee cake swirled throughout. In the brief survey we filled out after tasting it, when I was asked if I would buy this ice cream in stores, I emphatically circled YES.

After the tour, as with most tours of anything, we were dumped out into the gift shop, where it took all of my strength and willpower  not to purchase an ice cream cozy. You know, like for a beer can but for a pint of ice cream instead, so you can comfortably hold it while digging into it. Genius, just genius.

And finally, because one serving of ice cream just wasn’t enough, I also had a small cup of Coconut Seven Layer Bar, a ridiculously delicious blend of coconut ice cream with coconut and fudge flakes, chunks of walnut, butterscotch swirls and graham cracker crumbles.

Like the mouse pad I also saw in the gift shop, “We came. We saw. We ate ice cream.” And it was awesome.