The Boston Phoenix
February 24 - March 2, 2000

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Ay Colombia

La Terraza

by Jessika Bella Mura

on the cheap
  • Seoul Bakery, February 17
  • Guido's, February 10
  • Tacos Lupita, February 3
  • The wall paintings evoking Italy date from the previous restaurant -- a nod from East Boston's old guard to its new. La Terraza now sits comfortably in this space on polyglot Bennington Street, serving up Colombian cuisine with a disarmingly sweet lilt.

    The monster empanadas ($2) are of the cornmeal variety, stuffed with a perfect balance of cumin-spiked beef, pork, onions, and potatoes. The same thing that turns butter such a consumer-friendly color (annatto, by way of the achiote seed) gives us a nearly orange empanada and a riotously yellow arroz con pollo ($8) -- rice and tender shredded chicken studded with carrots, peas, and chunks LaTerraza of red pepper. Many platters come draped with exquisite maduros (ripe, sweet, fried plantains); most of the side orders, from fries to frijoles, are as worthy as the main event.

    Lunch can be transformed by a bowl of aguapanela ($1), a warm sugar-cane drink given extra dimension by a few squeezes of lime. The house hot chocolate ($1.50) is likewise subtle -- frothy and pale, with equal parts chocolate and malt flavor. And be sure to save room for the arequipe ($1), two small dollops of Colombian caramel fudge, for that one last dulcet kiss.

    La Terraza, located at 19 Bennington Street, in East Boston, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call (617) 561-5200.

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