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El Buen Gusto -- Tamarac (W. Broward) Colombian bakery/cafe

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Markets & Stores

El Buen Gusto -- Tamarac (W. Broward) Colombian bakery/cafe

s.m. koppelman | Jun 17, 2002 07:33 PM

I was out on a bike ride in west Broward and pulled into a strip mall I never go into, along Pine Island just north of McNab. Not much reason to go into there. Retail is mostly dead there, and now it's largely offices, an assortment of small businesses, and a small theater that seems to specialize in plays for WWII-generation Jews.

Anyway, tucked in next to a delivery-only Pizza Hut is El Buen Gusto (7727 Pine Island), a fairly new Colombian bakery/restaurant. Clean and basic--but not too bare-bones austere like many such places, nor upscale like the nearby Arepalandia, I was surprised by how big and bright it was given the narrow space and the windows plastered with flyers and flags.

Anyhow, the food: The menu is pretty much the usual. Grilled meats and fried eggs, arepas, plantains, liver, a couple of fish dishes, juices and shakes, and yummy-sounding, heart-stopping breakfasts. What I will say is that even the items in the steam table looked unusually colorful and fresh and carefully prepared. I had one of their huge, meal-sized(!) tamales for $5. The size of a toddler's head, it was a soft tamale wrapped in corn husks, laced with chunks of roasted potato, peas, and butter-soft, fatty pork. Quite good, especially with the decent salsa available.

The bakery items looked uniformly terrific, both pastries and desserts and breads and rolls alike. Much better than Arepalandia and whoever supplies the otherwise good Coral Springs hole-in-the-wall, Paluo's, where the lamented Taro's Tahitian BBQ used to be. I got a pan de queso to go. It was very, very good; moist, cheesy, not too salty, and had a nicely browned crust to it. The owners and staff are nice, too. They seem to be doing well; location isn't everything.

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