Cheap Eats 2009: Jaymar Colombian Breeze

Great food, low prices, lots of fun.

Why go: Few area restaurants are devoted solely to Colombian cuisine, and this bright family-run cafe—Mom and Dad cook, their daughter and her cousin take orders at the counter—is a friendly spot to try classic dishes.

What to get: Deep-fried empanadas filled with mildly spiced meat and potato and served with a fiery green salsa; arepas, crisp corn cakes filled with seasoned beef, cheese, fried eggs, or red beans and rice; bandeja tipica, a pileup of rice, red beans, fried egg, plantains, sausages, avocado, minced beef, and a mini-arepa; hot cocoa of melted Colombian chocolate with a rectangle of mild white Colombian cheese bobbing on top.

Best for: Lunch or early dinner—the place closes at 8:30.

Insider tip: Besides the usual tres leches cake and rice pudding, there are Colombian desserts such as traditional black cake filled with wine-soaked figs and prunes as well as figs in syrup with Colombian cheese.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here


Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.