The few other Colombian spots that have opened in Atlanta have favored multi-culti strip malls filled with other South American shops, salons and cafes. Kiosco opened on the south side of Marietta Square in 2004 in a cheerful little room with country wooden furniture and a mixture of oil paintings and framed posters on the walls. I’m not sure if Mariettans at large knew what to make of it at first; I recall it being nice enough and kind of empty when I visited.
But Kiosco played the long game. It plugged along quietly and let people learn that Columbian food is…well, what exactly?
Simply seasoned cuts of meat served with rice and beans, to start. Nobody (except perhaps a vegan) would have any complaints about the bandeja paisa, Colombia’s national dish rendered here as a peppery minute steak outfitted with two plump chorizo sausages, chicharrones of crisp-fried pork belly, a cornmeal arepa, a quarter avocado and a fried egg with rice and beans.
If someone needs a daintier plate of food, there’s a fillet of salmon with mango sauce that communicates an ideal of tropical dining. I enjoy the dry-fleshed but gorgeously crisp-skinned half chicken that had been roasted then fried to a crackle. Do I need more than a taste of the sugary raspberry sauce on the side? Nooooo….
Owners Juan Carlos and Milena Delgado and their staff really know how to work the small room, talking up the food and making sure that the parties that invariably end up at the communal table in the corner acknowledge each other. Community is important here.
- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog