There are few chances to have Colombian food in Toronto, but El Arriero Restaurante on Jane St. north of Bloor is one of them. My dining partner and I asked the waitress what she recommended, and followed her recommendations of the Bandeja Paisa ($15.99) and Bistec a Caballo ($14.99). So this is a double “One Dish Review.”
The bistec was served with two fried eggs, a whole fried plantain, rice, and salad. The dish was extremely flavorful. The steak was cooked to tender in a sauce with a few onions. The eggs thickened things up a bit an accentuated the flavors. I love fried plantains, so I was happy with the two halves provided on the plate. The rice and salad were nothing special.
The Bandeja Paisa was a bit disappointing. The dish was a meat market in itself, with sausage, bacon, and steak. It was served with half an avocado, fried egg, rice, and half a friend plantain. The steak on this dish was much tougher than the other and lacked any of the sauce which made the other dish so delightful. I mixed it with some beans and avocado, but that only improved its flavor mildly. The bacon was thick cut and had a tough backing to it. It took me a little while to
figure out that I should probably peel this backing off, but I had been surprised that it was cooked with it on to begin with. After taking it off, the bacon was much easier to chew, but still nothing special. The sausage was the highlight of this dish. It was flavorful and cooked well. The meat overload left me tired.
One thing to note about both dishes – they are huge! We both took the leftovers home and had another complete meal for two.
So if you find yourself in this part of town craving Colombian, have the Bistec.