Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

En la calle con Sofia: El Rinconcito Colombiano

Sofia Waldron

Following a Sunday morning mass, it had become a ritual for my mamá and me to pay a visit to the local Colombian bakery. Though the times when I can do this with my mamá are few and far between now, I am still eager to keep this tradition alive—a reminder of the home I left behind when moving to Boston for school. 

One day on my walk back from church, I came across El Rinconcito Colombiano, and the smell of pan de bonos and cafe drew me in. Instantly, I found myself experiencing the same feeling of nostalgia and gratitude for the times I shared with my mamá. 

El Rinconcito Colombiano is a family-owned business that has been operating for over a decade, preparing authentic Colombian food daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Like many other Latin American cuisines, Colombian cuisine is made up of Indigenous, European, and Afro-Caribbean flavors. 

From the moment I stepped inside, I was welcomed by salsa blaring on the speakers, friendly chatter, and comforting scents that made my stomach grumble. The menu was displayed on the wall on a chalkboard alongside a sizeable cash-only sign. Luckily, I had just taken out $20 from the ATM. 

For tradition’s sake, I knew that it would only be right for my first order to be what reminded me the most of Sundays with my mamá. After a quick conversation with the waitress, I sat down at a small table, awaiting the arrival of my arepa con queso, chorizo, and jugo de maracuya. Looking around, I could tell this was a spot that receives lots of regulars from the familial way the staff greeted those coming into the restaurant.

While waiting for my food, I shamelessly scrolled through their Facebook and found heartwarming photos of their in-house process of making empanadas. I am a sucker for anything mom-and-pop shop-esque, so it brought a big smile to my face. Moments later, the waiter placed my meal on the table, con mucho gusto. 

The arepa con queso was plated differently than I am used to. While back at home, the cold queso fresco sits on top of the whole arepa, here it is slightly melted, placed in the middle, and is much softer. Once I took a bite, I honestly preferred it more than the way I have it at home, as it left space to appreciate the lightly sweetened taste of the arepa itself. 

Between bites, I had sips of my jugo de maracuya, a long-standing top flavor choice of mine. Next, I delved into the chorizo. As someone who has not eaten meat for the past nine years, I was eager to welcome back chorizo into my life, and I was certainly not disappointed. 

Chorizo is a type of pork sausage; though varieties differ throughout Latin America, Colombian chorizo is typically cured and smoked with spices such as paprika and garlic. The chorizo was delicious and honestly, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with chorizo, especially with a squeeze of limon on top.

For $13, I got a good amount of quality food and drink. I left feeling satisfied with my meal and my experience at this restaurant. I am eager to come back and try a more giant plate. If you are ever in the mood to try Colombian food on your walk home from wherever, I recommend El Rinconcito Colombiano for a pleasant, comforting, low-cost meal.

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About the Contributor
Sofia Waldron
Sofia Waldron, Reels Editor

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