Food & Drink » Connecting the Spots

Where to find it: Panes de Queso and Venezuelan Tequeño

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Last year, I wrote about Antojitos mi Colombia Bakery, a tiny bakery in a strip center off Old Pineville Road (4740 Old Pineville Road; 704-258-3502). At that time, I noted they made yellow and white arepas, a popular street food in South America, with corn that is ground in-house. While these arepas are still made daily, new owner and Venezuelan native Eunice Hernandez has added some items to the bakery roster.

One of Hernandez's most popular items is the Colombian breakfast favorite Pan de Bono, or good bread. Salty farmer's cheese (queso fresco) is mixed into the dough made of cassava flour. Even without leavening, the dough puffs up. Pan de bono is best straight from the oven and since these are best sellers here, they are usually warm, but they can be reheated.

The other popular morning bakery item is the Panes de queso, or cheese bread ($3.50). This French-styled loaf has bits of cheese melted into the top's tender crust with a delicate interior that hides a lovely slice of cheese, melting if served warm — but easy enough to recreate by popping a slice into the toaster. Antojitos also has a small selection of pastries including pineapple, guava, and apple turnovers.

By lunch, in addition to the Colombian entrees, some Venezuelan specialties take the spotlight: house-made arepas, several varieties of empanadas including beef and chicken, and a tequeño, a twisted fried bread stick filled with cheese.

Looking for a food you can't find? Or do you know of other food items unique to the Q.C.? Whether it's regional foods or international, talk to me: tricia.childress@creativeloafing.com or 704-522-8334, extension 136.

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