Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dulce Vida Cafe Review

So...I've recently discovered a few things, one being Colombian food, and another being a little Colombian restaurant, that recently opened up on the Upper East Side, down the street, from where I work every Friday.
I've been asking myself, "Self, how is it that you claim to be a lover of food? A self declared foodie, in fact, and yet you have not tried, or even thought about Colombian cuisine ever in your life?"  

This seemed almost impossible to me, and way too Caucasian of me.  It's almost as if the universe has been purposely keeping it from me. the dark, I no longer reside.  The secret has been revealed, and now I have a regular spot, in which to indulge my new found obsession, and no, obsession is not an exaggeration. I have dedicated my lunch each and every Friday to trying something different on the menu of my new eating hole, and I have even taken hostages (my coworkers) into this obsession with me.  I insist we ALL throw ourselves into this mission with wild abandon.  How could I possibly let my poor coworkers suffer the fate that befell upon me all these years in missing out on these delicious morsels? I could not. 

Now that I've caught you up, let me tell you exactly what this restaurant is all about:

Arepas- Heavenly little round bread-like things that look like thick tortillas, but are much more delicious....get the one with the melted cheese in the middle called arepa de choclo rellena de queso.  Those are by far the best type of arepas that have graced my lips so far.
Empenadas- Chicken, cheese and can't lose
Arroz con Pollo- Chicken in seasoned rice with vegetables. It was tasty and very filling.
Ropa Vieja- Shredded beef on an arepa. This was a little dry, needed a sauce.

Sancocho- The most delicious soup ever made with chicken, corn on the cob, potatoes, yucca and plantains. It tasted homemade like your grandmother made it with love.  I really like that they put cilantro in it.  I think it made the dish. It gave it more complexity of flavor.  This was served with rice.
Ajiaco- Another soup, but different from sancocho.  There is no cilantro, but a little cream and capers instead and avocado.  Otherwise it tastes the same. I like sancocho better.

They also have a wide array of desserts, (guava pastries, cokitos, mojicones, obleas, achiras, bochadillos, brevas, flan, arroz con leche, tres leche, bunuelos), but a sweet tooth I do not possess, so I cannot personally vouch for them, although I heard they were also quite good.  The only exception to this is the bread pudding (pudin de pan), which they gave me a sample of.  It was moist and quite tasty.
The cafe is a tiny little place, very clean and brand new looking filled with a very friendly staff who now call me "Friday" (see first paragraph regarding my obsessive tendencies).  

Dulce Vida Cafe
Location: 1219 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10028
Price Range: $

Photos from google

Conducted by Jennifer S. Bhatt


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