La Colombiana Restaurante
2495 Commons Blvd.
Dayton, OH 45431
You find a lot of Tex-Mex options in Dayton, Ohio — many using ingredients not common to either Hispanic or Latino cuisine. That has changed lately as the more adventurous diners in town have begun to seek out more interesting and exotic dishes. The newly opened La Colombiana Restaurante is an exciting example of this; the spot focuses on Colombian comfort foods — many you can’t find in any other restaurant in town — and with a simple, elegant presentation that really introduces you to things you’ve never tried before in a very comforting way.
There are some common Tex Mex dishes on the menu and some unfamiliar ones, why not go for something interesting? Here are the dishes I recommend:
- Patacones: These are in fact fried plantains, topped with a meat of your choice as well as hogao — a Colombian sauce with sauteed vegetables. The plantain is a simple pleasure and a delicious thing to try, some of that chicken and Colombian spice really livened it up, while avocado brought something very special to it.
- Empanadas: Of course empanadas are better known among Latin American cuisine, but these are worth a mention. Meat of your choice and sauteed veggies fill each dumpling, and it’s served with a fresh aji salsa. Crispy on the outside, with a punch of flavor within.
- Avena: This is an interesting beverage that is actually made with stewed oatmeal milk and a simple addition of cinnamon and clove to give it some character. Very tasty drink!
- Arepa con todo: The arepa here is a firm cake topped with meat, avocado and spices to make it a good sturdy dinner dish. Good with the fried plantains.
- Aguapanela: A Colombian drink based with sugar cane, this drink is best served hot, like a tea. Great with heavier food.
- Calentado platter: Calentado is a Colombian mixed dish with Spanish rice and pinto beans mixed with hogao, a thick sauce. Served with another great Colombian specialty: Huevos pericos, scrambled eggs. This will fill you up a few times.
- Chuzos: A marinated meat on a stick; your choice of chicken, beef or pork (the former two are the best and juiciest) with a gratin pineapple for desert. New kinds of food are great!
The atmosphere of the place is really great — the staff is very friendly, and the open, comfortable seating allows for groups of all sizes to come out, from students and people from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to families and single diners. It’s a bright and refreshing concept, simple and very welcoming, especially because many of the things you might try here will be foreign to the average Ohio diner.
Altogether, it’s great to see the more adventurous and worldly diners flocking to spots like La Colombiana, even in a Midwestern hamlet like Dayton, Ohio. This is the kind of food that will really take you to some place new, and it’s definitely worth a try.
- There are a lot of Colombian dishes here you won’t find anywhere else. Give them a try! This really is a spot where you can have an adventure.
- A great drink to try, the Avena, an oatmeal-based beverage. Never found it anywhere else in town.
- Lunch specials are very inexpensive, should you be on the lookout for something economical.