Dulce Vida Cafe | 1219 Lexington Ave. (Bet. 82nd & 83rd Sts.) | 212.535.2424
[mappress mapid="155"]

ONCE AGAIN, MY FRIENDS HAVE come through for me! My good friend and Yorkville neighbor hipped me to a new Colombian joint that opened up only scant weeks ago on Lexington between 82nd and 83rd Street. She raved about their empanadas, so I decided to try them out for lunch.

I expected to find a smallish little diner-type, lo-fi resto, serving cheap, decently authentic Colombian food. What I found was a quaint coffeehouse/bakery serving excellent authentic, homemade Colombian treats of both the savory and sweet varieties.

I was impressed with the breadth of muffins, cupcakes, tarts, cakes on prominent display within Dulce Vida cafe, but reminded myself that I was here for empanadas, so I ordered two—one each of chicken and beef—and ever eagerly awaited their arrival as the pretty young lady at the counter explained how everything in the shop was made from scratch, including the dough for their arepas, as well as the masa more typically (if less commonly here in the states) used as the "shell" for their empanadas, stuffed with aromatically seasoned stew beef/chicken, deep-fried to order, and served to me in mere minutes piping hot, with sides of bright, chunky green sauce.

The crunchy exterior gave way to a softer, cornmeal dough, that totally encased and sealed in all the flavors of each filling, replete with tender, juicy meat, specked with herbs and potatoes. Each were about 5 inches long, yet surprisingly cost only two bucks each.

Which left me enough money to order two more to later drop of for my friends, Mike and Mike, and treat myself to a dessert of a baked phyllo dough turnover, rolled in sugar, and stuffed with the custard cream of the day. Today custard cream flavor was vanilla.

Total cost was less than ten dollars, and Mike, Mike and myself were all very impressed and satisfied with the food. I'm now looking very much forward to going back and trying the arepas, as well as a dish called bandejas piesa, which comes from the kitchen in an oval-sized skillet, and consist of steak, avocado, beans, rice, plaintains, a fried egg, and deep-fried pork belly! That dish comes in small and large sizes, the small costing only $8.75. A small pirice for such a hearty dish, and, for me, a small trip for such a big voyage...!

Bun Apple Tea!


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Dulce Vida Cafe | 1219 Lexington Ave. (Bet. 82nd & 83rd Sts.) | 212.535.2424