It takes a lot to get me excited about food, but last night I had a meal that was truly exquisite. If you ever get a chance to try out Tierras Colombianas, the amazing Columbian restaurant in Astoria, Queens… by all means do so.
If you’ve seen the recent Tony Bourdain episode in Columbia, you’ve seen the country’s amazing culinary tradition, including the “traditional breakfast/lunch”: a heaping mound of rice and beans plus a big two-inch cube strip of bacon, a flank steak, half an avocado, and a fried egg. It’s enough to feed most people two or three times over. Well, they have that and that’s been my go-to dish for quite some time. But last night I was feeling adventurous and got the beef tongue.
Now, I’ve had beef tongue before, and I have to say it’s one of my favorite parts of the animal if it’s done right. Tender and succulent, it’s perfect when sliced and grilled over an open flame a la Korean barbeque. But this time was an absolutely new experience: stewed in salted tomatoes, it was so tender you could cut it with your fork, but with enough body to give you something to chew on. It had the texture of a VERY high quality steak done rare.
And the flavor? A rush of natural beef and stewed salty tomato. I was in heaven. Complimented by the sticky Columbian style rice and beans, it pretty much made my night.
Now, I’m told that their wines suck and occasionally you get bad service, but I’ve never had a problem, and frankly when eating third world food it feels much more natural to have a coke product. That IS what they do there, no?