I'd heard good things about La Antioquena from some coworkers recently--it's close to work--and so I decided to check it out myself. It is a good find! La Antioquena specializes in Columbian food and is decorated appropriately. It's not a fancy place nor a large place--small actually--but good food is good food, and they sure can cook and produce good food, as I found out!
My coworker Joe and I decided to visit based on the recommendations of some others. We went on a Friday right about lunch time. As we entered the person behind the counter was busy on the phone, so we seated ourselves. There are probably less than a dozen tables here, but there is also a bar type area in the front where several people were already eating. A few of the other tables were taken. And during our time there, we noticed that they seem to do a good take-out business. The phone kept ringing and orders were being taken. One annoying thing--there is a loud chime that goes off when the front door is opened. It got to be annoying, I'd suggest they turn it off during busy times, or find something less annoying to patrons.
In short order we were greeted by the waitress, menus produced, and drink orders taken. They have a nice menu, in english and spanish, and the prices are reasonable. We found the portions to be generous as well. For a started I asked for and received an empanada--it was very good. The tasty meat and potato filling had a nice pastry crust around it. It was served with a relish of some sort that was absolutely delicious. Little bits of onion, pickled jalapenos, and more were in a vinegar based sauce. I liked it a lot. The empanada was also relatively inexpensive, $1.25 i believe. It was good!
For lunch both Joe and I ordered the Friday lunch special, Skirt Steak for $8.99. A good sized piece of steak had been grilled and was served over a bed of rice. It was accompanied by a delicious homemade Chicken soup, potato salad, and sweet plantains. On the side was a chimichurri sauce. The chimichurri sauce was excellent, filled with the taste of cilantro and garlic, complimented by a bit of acid (vinegar I imagine) and olive oil. It was excellent. My steak was very good though could have been cooked just a bit less. My only complaint was that my knife was dull, so it was hard to cut the steak against the grain. But it was worth it. Every bite was full of a nice beef flavor. The potato salad was a bit different, slightly sweet, but was OK. And of course the plantains were wonderful, i loved their sweetness.
I have no complaints at all about the food, and Joe agreed, it was very good--and our service was good and attentive, too. Likewise the portions were great, so this was a value meal for sure. In looking over the menu, I liked the lunch specials I saw, especially for Thursday and Tuesday. It's close to work, so I suspect I'll be back soon for lunch, and I'd love to try dinner here too sometime. I nice find. I love it! I've never had Columbian food before, but if this is representative of what it is like, then I love Columbian food. Yumm!