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Best South American Cuisine Phoenix 2008 - Mi Cocina Mi País

Mi Cocina Mi País

4221 W. Bell Road

Phoenix, AZ 85053


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Mexican restaurants already blanket the Valley, but what about culinary offerings from much farther south of the border, as in South America? For those, you might have to search a little harder, but the effort's worth it. Our favorite stop is Mi Cocina Mi País, a strip mall gem that serves up homestyle dishes from Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia in a happy orange dining room draped with colorful woven tapestries. Here, shrimp ceviche gets a tasty twist, thanks to pickled red onion and a handful of popcorn, while juicy pork tamales come wrapped in glossy, dark green banana leaves. Sample fluffy arepa (corn cakes) or sobrebarriga Bogotana (Colombian slow-cooked beef), and then quench your thirst with a cold glass of sugary chicha morada (a purple punch made from corn, of all things) or pineapple-sweetened avena helada. Desserts like flan, plantain cake, and torta de camote, made with sweet potatoes and raisins, are authentic as well — and too tasty to pass up.

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