Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kiosco A Taste of Columbia - Marietta GA

(Shorter version posted on Yelp)
It's really unbelievable how good the food is at Kiosco - I had the opportunity to feast here with a group of Yelp Elites. Since I live on the opposite side of the Northern arc of I285, Kiosco is well outside of my usual grazing zone - I'm so glad I had the chance the sample the fine fare here. I had heard of this small Columbian restaurant through some friends but up until now had only sampled an empanada - the real thing, freshly cooked it made my previous encounter pale in comparison. You really need to be on site to enjoy these delicious morsels hot, especially with the habanero sauce.

Kiosco can be found on 48 Powder Springs St - it's a one-way so I parked on a side street - the event I went to was set for 6:00 PM and it took me a good 45 minutes to make it on time from the Perimeter Mall area. I think that if you don't use a map app it's a bit hard to find (especially for me, being so far from my usual terrain as already mentioned). The restaurant is very unassuming with a couple of sidewalk tables under a green awning, a large banquet table (and I recommend you come in a big group to sample all the goodies), some smaller tables and a bar to service the great sangria.

Being a Yelp sponsored event allowed us to sample many, many more items than you would normally see in a regular visit. Here's a rundown along with my thoughts on each:

We started with one of two different sangrias - mango and red. I really enjoyed the red as a good, familiar sangria but man, was the mango sangria fantastic! I had several glasses and was feeling pretty good by the time things started to wind down (or is it wine down?).

Then came some of the best chicken and beef empanadas I've ever had with a smoking habanero sauce! These were hot and delicious - try them first as-is, then with a bit of the habanero sauce - I like to pour a bit inside for the best effect.

Next came courses of beef broth mushroom lentil soup and a yummy cold carrot, onion, pepper and garbanzo bean salad. I believe you normally choose one of the two as a starter to most meals - if you come as a pair, each should order one and try-the-other's to get the full effect.

Then out came a freaking huge pile of chorizo, mini empanadas, chicharrons, maduros, patacones, yucca, chicken and beef (Picada para dos)! This was one of my favorite meals and really intended to be split between two people - plenty of food here for those with big appetites and the food balance is very good - just enough starch, meat, fat and acid to be very satisfying, especially with the sauces.

I couldn't believe how good the huge plate of paella (with shrimp, bay scallop, muscles, clams and calamari rings) was (another dish intended for two) - no rubber seafood here and the aroma was out-of-this-world. Based on this dish alone I'll be coming back.

We also received another plate of grilled steak, chorizo, chicharrone, maduros, avocado and a side of rice and pinto beans (Bandeja Paisa) - think of this as the meat-lovers platter with enough to satisfy the most picky Adkins dieter.

Next was one of my favorites, the Medio Pollo al Horno (half roasted chicken with a delicious raspberry sauce) and a plate of mixed veggies! All I can say is "Wow." - this dish makes Pollo Tropical's chicken the equivalent of a box of chicken McNuggets. A bit of the raspberry coulis and you're in heaven and the skin is just perfectly rendered to a delicious crispiness that most restaurants can't seem to find.

As you can see I tried everything - I really had a hard time finishing - everything was so good!

We ended the evening sampling four desserts: a really delicious Tres Leches, one of the best flans (Flan de CafĂ©) I've had in Atlanta, a coconut custard fetish (Postre de Coco) and a homemade carrot cake (Torta de Zanahoria) - man it really sucks when the desserts are this good - I could feel the pounds ballooning out on my mid-drift but Oh So Good!

By the time we finished I was so full, but completely sated. This has become one of my new favorite restaurants and I can't wait to go back to sample more!

-- John

Kiosco on Urbanspoon

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