Colombian restaurants are, virtually across the board, dependable locations for great chicken and great value. Here are nine best bets on Long Island. Selections by Joan Reminick.
Chicken Coop, Valley Stream: A spacious and cheerfully decorated Colombian restaurant. Chicken is beautifully burnished, moist and savory. There is super chicken soup too, replete with giblets, potatoes, carrots and cilantro.
Gallo, Patchogue: This attractive dining spot does justice to the forthright flavors of Colombia. Try the refreshing shrimp seviche and crisp empanadas, with some of owner Dave Bustamente's original avocado sauce on the side, or the Gallo rotisserie chicken platter (pictured).
La Fonda Latino Grill
La Fonda Latino Grill, Lake Ronkonkoma: The La Fonda Latino Grill serves chicken specialties, seafood, platos tipicos and typical Colombian dishes. Try the Bandeja tipica (pictured), served with grilled steak, Colombian sausage, eggs, avocado, sweet plantains, corn cake, rice and beans.
Mi Tierrita, Brentwood: Casual restaurant serving Colombian and Latin American dishes. Cazuela marizcos, or seafood casserole (pictured), is a specialty.
Pollos El Paisa
Pollos El Paisa, Westbury: A popular standby for its namesake dish, the "national chicken" of Colombia, this bright little eatery showcases birds bronzing on spits in the glass-front ovens behind the counter. Every bite is permeated with flavor.
Pollo Rico Latin Bistro
Pollo Rico Latin Bistro, Centereach: Serving seafood casseroles, steak and chicken dishes with a Latin-American twist.
Sabor A Colombia
Sabor a Colombia, Levittown: At this colorful spot, bronze skin overlays moist meat infused with savory juices. Known for its rotisserie chicken and small sirloin steaks, it also serves seafood dishes such as broiled fillet of flounder; and grilled jumbo shrimp.
Delicias Latinas, Copiague: Traditional specials including empanadas and quesadillas. The bakery counter serves Colombian pastries and custom cakes.