If you read the Best Bites of 2011 post, you probably noticed we have a thang for street food. Victoria is home to exciting portable food from some passionate purveyors. Frankly, we are both genuinely perplexed that some people still go to places like Subway. Just—why? I have to assume they haven’t discovered La Fogata Latina yet.
La Fogata Latina bills itself as authentic Colombian street food: three different loaded hot dogs, a variety of arepas, and the classic Cubano sandwich. If you’ve never had an arepa, they’re a pillowy corn tortilla pocket with cheese worked right into the dough, stuffed with goodies like shredded beef or chopped chorizo with bell peppers and onions and a number of colourful, lively sauces. Arepas are griddle cooked to order so they have a crunchy exterior but a soft, creamy interior. When we last went, I tried the Ceviche Arepa with plump cooked shrimp cocktail, avocado, red onion, tomatoes, cilantro, lemon, pepper & hot sauce.
This guy was busted full, and the contrast of warm, sautéed veggies with fresh cool shrimp, tomatoes, and avocado was positively addictive. I chose to add a healthy squirt of their pineapple sauce to it as well because shrimp and tropical fruit work soooo well together. Last time, I had the Chorizo Arepa and it too was dreamy. Satisfying, salty, and just the right size for lunch!
Mr. ST had the Guacamole Dog, a hot dog made all the more special by the use of finely crushed potato chips.
Potato chips are popping up between bread all over the place! We saw them last week on an episode of Unique Eats that featured No. 7 Subs’ Zucchini Parm Sandwich with barbecue kettle chips. Then Deb from Smitten Kitchen wrote a post about putting potato chips on your pb&j AND in her cookies. Sure, it’s decadent and weird and déclassé to foodies who ban processed foods from their diets but damn if it doesn’t add great texture. Then again, if you’re that kind of foodie, you probably already left at the sight of a giant hot dog anyway.
We love cuisines with a wide variety of condiments that encourage customization and at La Fogata Lantina they have a whole range: in addition to the pineapple sauce, they also have a creamy garlic sauce, a smooth and mild guacamole, and the very necessary and authentic “pink sauce”.
Try as I might, I haven’t found definitive public opinion on what “pink sauce” is exactly but I can confirm it is ubiquitous in Colombian hot dogs and it is tangy and sweet. I am sure for some places that just means just ketchup, lemon juice and mayo but in my online searching I also found references to ginger, cumin, and cayenne.
The food here is a curious change of pace and among the best meals under $10, served with love and pride. Your lunch break might never be the same again!