Tierras Colombianas: Astoria

Tierras Colombianas was a childhood staple of mine. My father would take my sister and I here for father-daughter dates and special occasions. For approximately 15 years I have been ordering the same item off the menu, #14-the seasoned, grilled chicken breast with beans, rice and sweet plantains. Now, I’m not saying you have to order this but… Yeah, okay. That’s exactly what I’m saying. Order this and order this now.

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On Friday I celebrated my 28th birthday at Tierras Colombianas and It should be no surprise that I ordered #14, the perfect birthday meal. The #14 chicken breast is pounded thin and this thickness allows the seasoning to permeate all the way through. Once you eat chicken like this you won’t want it any other way. Inspired by this dish, I tried to tenderize and flatten my own chicken with a hammer. In case you’re wondering,  it doesn’t work. Tenderizers are worth the investment. Hammers are messy.

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The Latin flavors of the chicken are further enhanced by the side dishes. The perfectly salted rice and beans are accompanied by your choice of sweet plantains or tostones. I used to order tostones but my first taste of sweet plantains was a game changer. The sweet plantains are soft and moist, where as the tostones are dry and salty.  It is a difficult decision for the indecisive because they are both delicious in different ways. For those of you who suffer from indecisiveness, just get both. You can always start your diet tomorrow. YOLO!

Tierras Colombianas is located at 33rd and Broadway. Go check it out!

Afghan Kebob House: NYC

I was recently introduced to the Afghan Kebob House by an old friend from high school. This restaurant, located on 2nd Ave between 70th and 71st, is hidden amongst the lavish, over priced restaurants of the upper east side.

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The interior of the Kebob House is very dark and cave like. Really fucking cave like. Think, Jafar’s lair in the movie “Aladdin”. If you haven’t seen Aladdin, then I feel bad for you. If you haven’t played Aladdin on Sega Genesis, then I feel bad for you. If you haven’t eaten at the Kebob house, then I feel bad for you. These are all things that should be on your bucket list. You might have missed the boat on the Sega game, but you can still watch the movie and eat at the Kebob House!

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Do not let the freaky deaky darkness of Jafar’s lair the Afghan Kebob House intimidate you from dining there. The food has my two favorite “A” qualities: Amazing and Affordable. The Afghan Kebob House allows you to explore an exotic cuisine without breaking the bank AND it is BYOB. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. They will gladly serve any alcohol that you bringwithout a corking fee. This keeps the bill down and eliminates the headache of trying to fairly divide the cost of a dozen (or two) drinks. BYOB saves friendships and money. Does it get any better?!

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It does get better! The waiters do not Rush you out. In fact, they encourage you to take your time and enjoy. Next to the delicious food, this is my favorite aspect of the Afghan Kebob House and, for me, this factor can make or break a restaurant. If you rudely rush me out, I will not come back. It’s one of my many “eating out” pet peeves. Anyone living in a metropolitan area should NOT put up with rudeness at a restaurant. There are way too many options.

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Ordering from a menu that has unfamiliar items can be scuuury. That’s why I am going to tell you exactly what to order. The Aushak Ghousti: boiled dumplings filled with scallions and herbs that are topped with a mint yogurt sauce and ground beef. To. Die. For. Each bite is an explosion of flavor. Unfortunately for you,  I ate my meal faster then I could photograph it. Your just going to have to take a leap of faith and trust me on this one. Once you break your Afghan cherry,  there’s no turning back. So break that shit and break that shit hard.

Click here for more information on the Afghan Kebob House and I hope to see you there!