This past World Cup was a revelation of sorts. Without getting into the politicking of Brazil spending millions of dollars in order to look good on international TV while half of their favelas starve daily, there were some really good fútbol moments on the pitch. One of the biggest showings, regardless of how their campaign ended, was the Colombian squad who made it through to the quarter finals and, let's be honest, that game belonged to them.
Twenty-three-year-old former AS Monaco and current Real Madrid attacking midfielder, James Rodríguez was the most exciting player to watch this past cup. Apologies to my German and Argentine friends, this man was so good that ever since they bowed out from the action, this lowly scribe has been craving nothing but arequipe and salty sobrebarriga. Thankfully, these are not cravings that will go unfulfilled while cruising on the Hallandale Beach Boulevard corridor.
Yudy Bakery and Colombian Restaurant on the 300 block of the boulevard's got you covered on every end, from the sweet to the savory, served with that smiling drawl only your best parceros will offer. Will it be enough to hold you over until the next Cup? Probably not, but it is good to know that these nostalgic options are available without breaking your wallet.
Arequipe, a slightly more bitter version of dulce de leche can be found in most Colombian desserts and it's particularly delicious in powdery alfajores who unlike their Peruvian and Argentine cousins, aren't overly sweet and go well with a cortadito without overpowering the senses into a world of cloying annoyance. Another delicious option, is the milhojas which is a chewy version of the layered pastry, topped with a diabetes-inducing spread of arequipe. No complaining there.
Weekly specials include some Colombian favorites like sancocho de costilla (spare rib stew), sopa de mondongo (tripe soup like Mexican menudo), plantain soup, oxtail, and hen stews. Some protein options include the always comforting bandeja Paisa with all its trimmings of steak, rice, beans, fried egg, pork belly chicharrón, plantain, and corn flour arepa as well as fish, shrimp, chicken and pork. Go for the Criolla or sudado styles for that homey onions and tomatoes sazón grandma knew how to coax.
Your best bets though, are the slow tongue stew and the sobrebarriga, which is a beautifully seasoned flank steak that hits the right amount of savory without dulling the senses. It's a nice hit of the sea if that makes any sense and in the best possible way. If you've ever dined in a Colombian home, you'll know that hospitality and pleasing the guest are a big part of the operation and for some reason, stuffing the aforementioned guests has been the modus operandi of many years and at Yudy it is no different. Don't believe it? Round up five or six of your pals and spend the 35 bucks on the picada and revel in the goodness of its fried glory of empanadas, cheeses, chorizos, and blood sausages.
Good portions, plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options with no single dish ever straying over the $15 mark will not hold you over until the next Cup and who knows how the squad will do or if James will continue on the rise or succumb to fame. But at least on the boulevard, you can pop in for a taste of home without breaking the bank. They also deliver in a limited range; call 954-455-2186 for more information.
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