Posted by: Orlick | January 17, 2010

The Anatomy of a Find: Villacolombia Bakery

Villacolombia Bakery
4042 82nd Street
Elmhurst, NY 11373
(718) 476-3500

Of course it was good… Below street level, busy, and the hot food is unapparent from the outside. It’s an easy formula for a food explorer. I’ve passed by it a hundred times, but before I stepped off the cliff, for a year it was in the back of my head. Like the cute one across the hall who is so quiet.

Step down 5 stairs. The food is still unseen; It’s a bakery. Only after walking 15 feet to the back do you discover 6 tables with heads in bowls of soup, plates of rice, lentils and more Spanish food. Fresh steam tables lead the take-outs in and out as people speak to Eleanora Rigby their orders*.

For lunch, you’ll can have rice (with peas if it’s your inclination), beans or lentils, a plantain, a little arepa, and an entree for 5 dollars. 6 with your choice of soup. And it’s a mound of food.

But I don’t like Villacolombia because it’s hidden or because of the quantity and price. Their food tastes great. Colombians make a top tier rice and the savor is not lost here. The arepa similar to the arepa lady’s. Not as good, of course not, but a similar creamy consistency. Add the constantly refreshed ribs, stews, roast chicken and it’s happiness happening all over again.

An entire meal will knock you out. It could hold you over for a whole day or be partitioned into multiple meals. My last order of costillas (ribs) and vegetable soup lasted a lunch and 2 breakfasts (with an added over-easy egg on each). People say it’s less expensive to cook for yourself, but eating 3 meals for 6 dollars is pretty good.

*okay, this reference is strange and the line is obscure. The line says “wearing a face in a jar that she keeps by the door.” I always thought this meant the window at the door which she would show her face. Well, when you tell the people here what you want on your plate, you have to communicate through a space of about 1 foot wide. Very cramped quarters, to speak to your Eleanora Rigby. This one doesn’t seem so lonely though.


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