HOUSTON – Houston is home to many different Hispanic cultures including a bustling Colombian community. If you’re not as familiar with Colombian food, same, but I was ready for a tasty crash course! Paul Shelton, Houston Life Photographer, loves Colombian food, so he took me to one of his favorite restaurants, Mi Pueblito, where we met with General Manager Andres Velasquez to learn more about Colombian culture and cuisine.
I asked Velasquez how important food ranked in Colombian culture as a whole. His answer: very high.
“It’s really difficult for us to actually live without having Colombian food,” said Velasquez.
This I totally get. Growing up, our family moved a lot, but whenever we landed somewhere new, we noted where the nearest Asian grocery store was so that we could cook Filipino food. According to Velasquez, it’s the same for many Colombians.
“The first thing a person does whenever they come to Houston is look for a Colombian place. ‘Where’s my Colombian place? Where’s my Colombian food,‘” said Velasquez.
If you’re searching for good, authentic Colombian food, Mi Pueblito is the place to go. In addition to a full menu of traditional dishes like Bandeja paisa and Ajíaco Bogotano they also have a bakery stocked with goodies like Buñuelos and Pandebono.
Mi Pueblito doesn’t just celebrate Colombian culture through food. For the Colombian Independence Day, the restaurant hosted a drive-thru parade where customers and the community could celebrate safely from their cars. And though it literally rained on their parade, the staff smiled and had a blast anyway.
“We got so wet, but it didn’t matter because we wanted to actually celebrate,” said Velsaquez. “It’s really, really important for us. You know, Colombians feel our country really, really deep in our hearts.”
Both of Mi Pueblito’s locations are currently open for dine-in and takeout. For the full interview, watch the video above. For more information, visit the Mi Pueblito website.