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TLO Restaurant Review: La Criolla

I have said it many, many times – I passionately love all forms of Mexican food, from the smallest of finger foods to the banquet-sized dinners, and it will forever be the number one food style on the Louis Fowler Cuisine Pyramid.

That being said, Guatemalan cuisine ranks a very close second.

In Oklahoma City, Guatemalan dining is a usually semi-dressy affair found in the beating heart of the city, with breakfast-forward restaurants like Café Antigua and Café Kacao bringing up some of the best eats in town on N. Classen.

Now, to the rejoice of food lovers all across the metro, I'm happy to report there's another Guatemalan food player on the scene: La Criolla, 2913 N. May Ave.

Across the street from Northwest Classen High School, the newish restaurant is more purely Guatemalan than the aforementioned Classen stomps, which is evident by the pictures of their food on the outside windows. It all looked so good my mouth was watering!

As I made my food selections —a little bit of breakfast, a little bit of lunch—the waiter brought some fresh Pineapple juice to get the ball rolling. Each sip was very luxurious and gave me a sugary high as awaited the first dish to brough to the table – the Platanitos ($2.99).

The simple dish is a well-done fried plantain filled with sweetened black beans and served with a sour cream dipping sauce. It was pretty tasty. In fact, it was one of the best breakfast items I've ever tasted.

Well, until the phenomenal Avena ($5.66) was put before my face:

A hot-cereal of warmed oats and milk, with a sliced banana and granola, the dish may seem basic, but it's an absolute treat. With the bananas swimming in the warm cinnamon oats among the floating bits of pure granola, it was amazing and I, truthfully, desperately wanted another bowl.

But before I could indulge in another round of such tasteful riches, my lunch order arrived in the form of the wonderfully hypnotic Pepian de Pollo ($12.99) – a combination of white rice, cold salad, and hot beans surrounded by two tender cuts of chicken, drowning in the flavorful sauce composed of pumpkin seeds and dried chiles.

Oh man…this place is wonderful!

With every single bite, I was taken by the mélange of warm flavors, cool sides, and savory tastes. The transcendent bite on the chicken—and am I tasting pumpkins in this sauce?—and the cold but hearty salad with vegetables like green beans and carrots made it a lunch to die for.

With my clearly handmade Guatemalan tortilla swiping up the rest of this very profound sauce, I reflected on the fantastic meal – whether breakfast, lunch, or anything in between, La Criolla gives you a whole new menu to experience and, even better, a whole cuisine to get acquainted with. Cómpralo ya!


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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