Colombian Street Food
Colombian Street Food is a homey shop selling empanadas, arepas, and edible crickets—yes, the insect kind—by baker Cookie Martinez.
No longer solely confined to her tiny stall, Cookie's store can finally offer a few crucial things, seating being one of them.
A humble table and vintage school chairs unfold every now and then beneath a wall of bus stop signs from Colombia. On occasion, Cookie hosts a Colombian supper club, workshops, and bug dinners.
Another big plus is a kitchen large enough to handle Cookie's growing catering business (it's hard to make hundreds of empanadas in a hot and tiny shipping container).
Insect grub is relegated to a corner of the shop beside packs of alfajores, where you'll find packs of roasted Colombian Big Ass Ants ($8.85), and gift-worthy ant and cricket brittle ($5.30).
While insect-filled empanadas have yet to make it onto the menu, regular empanadas ($3.10) stuffed with good old beef, chicken, or veggies don't disappoint.
Cookie's corn flour empanadas are far more crispy than the more traditional versions made with dough.
Though she only started experimenting with them in 2014, her versions are delicious, especially the chorizo option served with a little serving of tomato, cilantro, and onion salsa.
The cheese empanada is served straight out of the fryer, and is crunchy on the outside with gooey, stretchy mozzarella on the inside.
Arepas are the epitome of a Colombian staple: there are entire festivals dedicated to them in all the major cities of the country.
Cookie's stuffed arepas ($7.08) come with beef, chicken, or veggie. They all come with a sprinkling of cabbage, carrots and onions, and more salsa on the side.
Other traditional eats include a small portion of cassava fries ($6.65) served with a light guacamole.
Pork belly is just chicharron ($6.85), deep fried and served with two big rounds of fried plantain.
The meal's made all the better with the selection of rare Latin American sodas like the apple fizz drink Postobon ($2.20) or cups of lulo fruit juice, which has a light flavour somewhere between lime, orange, and rhubarb.
It's not all small fried eats at Colombian Street Food, though I'd be perfectly fine with that. On Wednesdays, she also offers a sizeable lunch special. If you 're lucky, it might even be a homey meal made by Cookie's mom.