An aura of festivity pervades Sabor a Colombia, a new Levittown spot that fairly pops with bold colors and bright flavors.
"Taste of Colombia" is the English translation of the restaurant's name. You'll surely want to get more than just a taste as you eat your way around the menu. But even if you're just stopping by for takeout, you don't want to miss the piece de resistance - rotisserie-roasted chicken.
And, oh, what a bird this is - bronze skin overlaying moist meat infused with spicy juices. Precede that with a bowl of rich consommé grande, chicken soup with giblets, vegetables and chopped fresh cilantro. The meatball soup is nearly (but not quite) its equal.
Two of us share paella, a flavor-intense mélange of yellow rice, shrimp, scallops, clams, calamari, mussels, octopus, sausage, grilled beef and chicken. There's enough food for at least four.
Well-marinated grilled pork chops are done to a juicy turn. I'm a big fan of the succulent lengua a la criolla, tongue in a lively tomato-based Creole sauce.
At breakfast, I'm won over by a delectable scramble of eggs, tomatoes and onions paired with a savory rice and beans mixture and crisp fried pork skin.
Go before 3 p.m. on a weekday, and you can order from a menu of crepes. My compadre is sold on the crepe Hawaianos involving ham, cheese and pineapple stuffed into a thin, tender pancake drizzled with cream sauce. I find it a bit sweet, preferring, instead, the simpler ham and cheese version.
Two fitting finales are the lush wedge of flan and the creamy raisin-studded rice pudding.
The shrimp and mussels in the otherwise fine paella are a bit overcooked.
MONEY SAVING TIPS
Platters such as the paella ($24.95) or any of the large mixed meat combos will easily feed four. So, too, will the ridiculously inexpensive ($7.65) whole rotisserie chicken. Add a few side dishes and you've successfully balanced the budget.