Cheap Eats – Rincon Colombiano
It’s just a little luncheonette-style spot with a counter and a few tables, but Rincon Colombiano offers big, bold flavors in traditional Columbian dishes with some familiar ingredients merged with flavors you might never have tried before. Start with a couple of crispy empanadas with beef or chicken for just a buck each, along with arepa, a cornmeal cake served either plain or with salami or grilled meat.
The menu is vast and it’ll be difficult to get a good sample of the variety Columbian cuisine has to offer without bringing folks to share with or just bringing some dishes home. The spicy chorizo sausage is great with corn cake and green plantains, and house specialties include Bandeja Paisa, a common dish with rice, steak, pork belly, sausage, egg, avocado and sweet plantain.
The liver dishes are good, too, sautéed with rice and corn cake or grilled with green plantain, and fish comes breaded and fried with hot and crisp French fries (that’s papas fritas for you Spanish speakers).
I like the Mondongo, a traditional dish made with slow-cooked tripe and served as a soup with rice and corn cake (only available on certain days), or the costilla frita, fried baby ribs, crisp outside, very tender inside. For dessert try the arequipe con queso, a sort of sweet cheese, or figs with a creamy caramel. Whatever you try will be a lesson in a taste of Brazil few of us get to try — all tasty, hearty and plentiful.
Rincon Colombiano at 34 1/2 Canal St., Nashua (603) 595-1670
Rachel Forrest can reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org when she’s not on the road finding great Cheap Eats.