We should have ordered more maicitos con queso. Cardiologists will disagree, but who could refuse seconds of a mess of sweet corn strung together with wads of mozzarella and buried under a layer of fried potato shards, then squirted with pink and pineapple sauce?
And to think, ordering this magnificent mound was an afterthought. At Borojo, a narrow Colombian restaurant on an international row in downtown Hollywood, it’s all about oozy, fatty goodness. Platters of blood sausage, hamburgers bursting with bacon and cheese, empanadas exploding with meat, arepas buried in layers of queso.
What’s this on the menu? Salad? And a good one, too, with a zingy raspberry vinaigrette, spinach, strawberries and walnuts. But that’s not why one walks into Borojo. You come for the chicken on a skewer, the fried hot dogs loaded with potato chips, the pork belly.
And arepas, of course. But these don’t look or taste like the queen’s grilled corncakes slapped on a grill at every South Florida festival. These are twice the circumference and covered with your heart’s desire: shredded chicken with mushrooms in béchamel, chicken and bacon buried in mozzarella, shrimp in pink sauce, ham and bacon in pineapple sauce, pork loin in “Colombian” sauce, shredded beef. There’s even a veggie version with mushrooms, tomato, peppers and basil dressing on a deep-pile carpet of mozzarella.
The trouble with all the arepas: hard to eat. Picking one up ends in a messy collapse. Cutting it doesn’t cut it. So we ended up eating like a society lady, picking up the toppings with a fork while ignoring the thick corncake somewhere below.
Looking for finger food? The mini empanadas make for an easy pop in the mouth. Borojo offers a few diversions while the cook preps the order: One flat-screen TV beamed a soccer match and another showed highlights from the menu.
Much of the food came in sturdy foam containers; the arepas were packed in round tins reminiscent of takeout pasta. A written clue of the lids would have been nice; as it was we had to play the “Guess the Arepa.” The cashier threw in a free dessert: a cup of postre de natas — milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk. It tasted like tres leches without the cake. Sweet!
Just don’t tell the cardiologist.