Restaurant Review: Columbian Grace

Key West has an array of ethnic foods from Cuban to Thai and everything in between, except Indian food. While I’d love to have some good vindaloo here, I don’t really suffer with all of the other good eats in town. Colombian Grace is one of the newer additions to the Island. Perched on Petronia Street, it is an unassuming restaurant with a comfortable interior and lovely second floor balcony. But the food is the star of the show here. Owner Zulma opened the restaurant with her sister and uses her mother’s recipes. Just recently her mother was in town critiquing the recipes and making sure everything was done perfectly.

The menu is a mix of Colombian classics as well as twists on the classics. For starters, our party of four had empanadas – your choice of beef or cheese filled and fried to perfection, chorizo and patacones con carne. The empanadas and chorizo both come with a spicy cilantro sauce made with jalapenos and cilantro. The patacones are  fried plantains topped with shredded beef. The one thing you can taste in every dish is the pride and care that has gone into making it, and it tastes good.

The main courses feature meats, chicken and fresh fish done in several preparations. Among the four of us, we had the yellowtail snapper prepared with lemon and capers, yellowtail snapper crusted in coconut and “Mom’s Casserole” which is a fresh grouper casserole made with fish stock, white wine, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and baked to golden perfection. The coconut crusted yellowtail was light and fresh.

Mom’s casserole is one of the most interesting fish dishes I have had in a long time.  It is a bubbling dish filled with a cheesy, creamy blend of cheeses combined with big chunks of perfectly cooked grouper. Even though I was sharing with Florida Keys Guy, I really did not want to swap plates with him. It was just that good.

Colombian Grace is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is closed on Mondays. You should go. Soon.

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