Get in Me Belly

Fried Day: Breakfast at Mi Pueblito Restaurant

The best way to start the day isn't always the healthiest.

By Alice Levitt March 11, 2016

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Calentado by the dawn's early light.

Image: Alice Levitt

I am not a morning person. I can easily count the number of times I've had breakfast since elementary school on two hands. (Don't tell my doctor.) But when life hands you early work obligations, you make calentado. Well, you don't. A cook at Mi Pueblito Restaurant does. After all, she got up even earlier than you did.

I arrived at Mi Pueblito on Saturday morning just after its 7 a.m. opening, when the bakers were still filling several pastry cases with brazos de reina and galletas de ojo. I sat in the dining room, with the early morning sun beating down. Mi Pueblito has six breakfast dishes, including a fairly American-friendly sausage-and-eggs platter and tamales steamed in plantain leaves. Other options are more exotic, such as an Andean milk-and-egg soup known as changua

But the server recommended the calentado, which he said was most common in his native Antioquia region of Colombia. In Colombian homes, the rice-and-beans stir fry is a way to use up the previous night's leftovers. At Mi Pueblito, the rice is covered with tangy pork sausage and deep-fried cubes of pork belly. That might sound like overkill, but don't forget, bacon is just thinly sliced, cured pork belly that cooks in its own fat.

Along with the porky rice-and-beans, a single chewy arepa was a fun diversion, but the moist scrambled eggs—speckled with herbs and tangy tomatoes—were a leading player in their own right. The plate was so loaded that I was able to take home more than half for a left0ver stir fry (of a leftover stir fry) the next night. And then, I enjoyed it even more, because it was no longer breakfast time.


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