Cheap Eats 2011: Jaymar Colombian Breeze

This Colombian kitchen serves heaping dishes of potatoes, cheese, and beef–the type of food that grandmothers cook to put meat on your bones. In fact, the mom-and-pop restaurant–the only Colombian spot in Washington and a nice surprise among its chain-restaurant neighbors–relies on the owners’ family recipes.

The arepa–a cheese-filled silver-dollar-size corn cake–is to Colombian cooking what white rice is to a Chinese restaurant: One comes with nearly everything on the menu. On a big platter such as the bandeja paisa–piled with sausage, chicharrón, carne asada, plantains, a fried egg, and beans–it’s a good sponge for mopping up. With buttery scrambled eggs in the all-day breakfast dishes, arepas make for a tasty South American-style twist on a morning sandwich.

Also good: Empanadas filled with potatoes and beef; tamales stuffed with chicken, pork, and beef; ajiaco, a chicken stew.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

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 Petworth.