La Pequeña Colombia

Watch out Tampa, the Breakfast Boys are doing their thing this morning.

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We visited La Pequeña Colombia at 6312 North Armenia Avenue on 9 November 2013. They have a flashy web site at http://www.lapequenacolombiatampa.com/. This is a recommendation from Tampa Bay Breakfasts fan J.C., who is from Colombia and knows what he’s talking about.

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You get a sense of pride in La Pequeña Colombia, the folks running this restaurant really love what they do. Everything is vibrant and exciting. You don’t even have to open the menu to see what you’re in for here.

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Lots of desayunos to choose from. No pancakes. Arepas everywhere (though we do have a preference for Venezuelan Arepas, because of our Tia Sofia).

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For the gringos, number 13: the “Desayuno Americano” with French fries.

Reminds me of the time I was in a pizza place in Hungary. They brought me a pizza and some ketchup. Why, I asked. Because I’m American, and Americans eat everything with ketchup.

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You can see the bakery cases behind Marek. Lots of lovely Colombian breads and snacks there.

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Marek picked up a newspaper outside on our way in. I think he’s reading that article at the bottom, “Oracle, Google, y Red Hat.”

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Just like his old man, Marek needs his glasses to read.

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Like I said, just like his old man.

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Out in the parking lot, the fastest pancake mobile in Tampa. It’s going to be a really sad day when Marek grows another two inches and doesn’t fit in the back seat anymore. He’ll have to start riding in the trunk.

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Hot chocolate and cafe con leche.

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Ivo decided to “fix” our googlyglasses. In Ivo-speak, anything he offers to “fix” will be completely disassembled down to the molecular level in the time it takes for you to get another beer from the kitchen.

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Just in time, here comes breakfast. Desayunos, that is. And there’s butter so, of course, Marek is pleased.

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I had whatever our fine waitress recommended. Scrambled eggs with peppers, beans and rice, arepas, tostada. This is “Calentado,” and I’d recommend it to you.

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The boys both had “scrambled eggs and bacon.” Which turned out to be “eggs scrambled with bacon.” And they were thrilled. Like, wow, they can DO that, dad?

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Marek, in this fugue state, mumbled that this was the best breakfast he’d ever had. I think he stopped breathing for a moment.

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If you go to La Pequeña Colombia and you like sunshine, sit in the booth at the north end of the dining room. I sort of wished we’d chosen one booth over and not been in the tanning salon, but I wanted to get these little monsters as far away from decent people as possible.

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Ivo was done. I said, hey Ivo, give dad a kiss. And the little bugger licked my cheek. Ick. But oh, did he laugh at how he had one over on me.

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While that little drama was going on, over on Marek’s side of the table there’s a full-blown theatrical production on how he loves those scrambled eggs with bacon in them.

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Total bill, 48,000 Colombian Pesos, or about $25 USD. A little more expensive than our usual, but we had a lot of food (and, to be honest, our usual is usually me getting something and splitting it with at least one boy).

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I don’t know why Ivo is folding his bills long-ways like that. And also, if his face looks sort of dirty, it’s because Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom was out of town last night and boys skipped bathing and probably slept in their clothes under boxes of cereal for all I know.

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Off they go to pay the bill. While I catch a break from trying to keep them quiet and keep them from destroying the restaurant.

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Our fine waitress was very kind to put up with us. Though she didn’t seem interested in wearing googly eyes with us when we first sat down.

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She gave the boys Bon Bon Booms! Our friend for life.

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Did I mention that Mom is not home? So after breakfast we went and had fun the way only dads can do. We went to a furniture store and played on the beds. Boys won’t take naps at home, but take them out in public into a room full of bare mattresses, and OFF come the shoes and up they go to get cozy. Dad is then free to wander around, looking at prices on doilies and foot stools, for at least an hour.

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In the bed-choosing competition, Ivo wins. Up and down and up and down and up and down.

And just think, Mom actually Spends Money to take the boys to fun places.

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But back to La Pequeña Colombia. A fine experience. Food was great (“best breakfast I ever had,” swoons Marek). People friendly (and tolerant of our chaos). Price a little higher than usual for us. The restaurant is exceptionally lovely inside, despite being in what is really a wretched little strip mall. We’ll be back. We’re happy to give La Pequeña Colombia a Tampa Bay Breakfasts four and a half pancake award.

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