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Colombian Feast & Fiesta at Pueblito Viejo

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Pueblito Viejo Miami by Digest Miami

Walls are covered with sculptures made of pennies, Colombian-themed knick knacks and life-sized statues of artists like Juanes, Shakira, and Carlos Vives.

Located near Tropical Park, Pueblito Viejo is a feast for the eyes as much as the palate. The energy and decor are intense. On most nights, there are several birthday celebrations and even a celebrity sighting or two!

The second edition of Pueblito Viejo...

The first opened in Chicago in 1994 and served as the template for the Miami menu. Most of what you see has been hand picked by owner Gonzalo Rodriguez’s travels; from mochilas (hand woven purses) to coffee sacks and a Chivas (a Colombian bus).

We got a chance to sit with Rodriguez, a lively character from the city of Pereira. He greets each guest with a smile and open arms.

“It was important to me that we make as much in-house as possible.”

~Gonzalo Rodriguez

The menu offers an extensive selection of Colombian comfort food and all of the arepas, empanadas and chorizos are house-made.

A favorite arepa among our group are the Pueblito Viejo Gorditas ($3.50).

Bandejas are a popular dish in Colombian culture and at Pueblito Viejo this dish follows traditional form. Grilled or ground skirt steak ($15-$17) are served with red beans, sweet plantains, rice, fried egg, chicharrón, and an arepa.

Authentic Sancocho is offered only on weekends. Sancocho de Costilla de Res ($13) is our favorite; beef rib stew with green plantains, yucca, corn, and potatoes served over rice along with avocado and an arepa. Just like they do in the home country, everything comes with an arepa.

When asked what his favorite dish is, Rodriguez laughs a little and says, “el Entero Frito.” A whole fried snapper with patacones or tostones (fried green plantains), lettuce, and tomato.

No Colombian place would be complete without Aguardiente. This strong anise-flavored liquor distilled from sugar cane is a staple of any Colombian household. You will find all the known varieties at Pueblito such as Cristal and Antioqueño.

Or try a specialty drink such as Caporona, a generously sized margarita with a Coronita. The Refajo is a popular Colombian cocktail mixed with Aguila beer and Colombiana soda; think of it as the rosé of beer, perfect on a summer day or any day in Miami, for that matter.

Along with authentic bites and an energized ambiance, Pueblito Viejo also offers live music and other entertainment. You can catch the popular Trovadores performance on weekends— it’s an improvised lyrical comedy act that involves roasting the audience.

“Es un sitio familiar.”

Gonzalo Rodriguez wants everyone to feel at home. Whether you are Colombian or not, Pueblito Viejo offers a truly unique and authentic experience; come for the food, stay for the vibe, shows and dancing.

Pueblito Viejo is located at 8285 Bird Road, Miami, FL 33155; @pueblitoviejo, pueblitoviejo.com, (305)551-4650