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Caprichos Antioqueños Gives Pawtucket a Taste of Authentic Colombian Cuisine

By Kelly Church

Hailed as the best Colombian food in Rhode Island, Caprichos Antioqueños serves authentic Colombian food with homemade pastries, breads and fried treats. The Pawtucket, RI bakery and restaurant has been around for more than 25 years. Everything is made fresh daily at Caprichos Antioqueños so guests feel like they're eating down in Colombia.

"Colombian cuisine is a melting pot of diverse foods," Diana Espinosa, secretary, said. "Colombian dishes are a mix of herbs, the most noted [spices are] cumin, cilantro, parsley, potato weed and chives. Corn, cheese, potatoes, plantains and rice will always be found in a Colombian dish."

For first timers at Caprichos Antioqueños, Espinosa recommends trying the arepa de chocolo con mantequilla y queso. This dish of sweet corn cakes with melted butter is topped with Colombian cheese. She also said the empanadas with aji is "phenomenal" for those who want to add a little extra spice to their dish. Customers can opt for potato and beef empanadas for a special empanada hawaiana, with ham, cheese and pineapple.

"I feel extremely comfortable recommending [the aji sauce]," Espinosa said. "All of our customers speak very highly of our homemade hot sauce."

For dessert, Espinosa said the pastel de arequipe is a winner. It's a flakey puff pastry with a dulce de leche filling. Guests can also opt for tres leches cake, churros, flan and more for dessert. Colombian coffee is also offered.

The restaurant's atmosphere is casual and family friendly. Espinosa admits the restaurant is small and "can get a little crammed at times," but it only adds to the family experience of Caprichos Antioqueños.

"Caprichos Antioqueños was built with the hard work and dedication of a Colombian couple that devoted their time and effort into making it successful," Espinosa said. "It was created with love, passion and devotion. Twenty six years later, and a family generation after, this small mom and [pop restaurant] still has that spark of energy that it was constructed with."

Caprichos Antioqueños is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. To view the restaurant's full menu, visit caprichosantioquenos.com.

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