You don’t have to travel far these days to experience authentic South American cuisine. Barroco Grill, a small Lakewood eatery, specializes in the fare of Colombia and Venezuela, but you will also find dishes representative of Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean on the menu.
Its signature item is the arepa, a typical Col0mbian street food. It is a grilled white corn tortilla, split to form a pocket and filled with meats and vegetables. The popular chorizo arepa is stuffed with spicy ground sausage, chunks of onion and green peppers, and mozzarella cheese ($9). Other fillings include chicken, steak and pork. The menu also offers a Hawaiian arepa with ham, bacon and pineapple, and a breakfast arepa with scrambled eggs, chorizo and vegetables.
The pocket sandwiches are served with your choice of tortilla chips, fries or black bean soup. Because they are made from corn, arepas have an added plus of being perfect for diners on a gluten-free diet. The arepa burger is a corn tortilla topped with a hamburger patty, mozzarella cheese, bacon and grilled onions, mushrooms, lettuce or tomato ($9). The Barroco burger is also garnished with ranchero and garlic sauces. The Super Dog is a beef hot dog with garlic, ranchero and pineapple sauce, mozzarella and crushed chips ($4). The sandwich Cubano is made with sliced ham and pork, garlic sauce, melted cheese and lettuce and tomato ($10). A favorite appetizer for sharing at Barroco is cheesy corn, a gratin of corn, chicken, bacon and melted white cheese, served with arepa fries ($8). There is also a vegetarian version of this dish, called mazorcada ($6).
Specialty entrees include shrimp ceviche ($10). The Colombian version of a shrimp cocktail is made with a blend of onions, cilantro, garlic and lime juice, bits of jalapeno pepper and ranchero sauce. It is served with fried plaintain wedges. Ropa vieja ($14) is slow-roasted shredded steak with cilantro white rice, drizzled with chimichurri sauce. Bisteca a Caballo, a traditional Colombian dish, is strip steak topped with tomato and onion sauce and a fried egg ($15). Empanadas Colombianas are corn turnovers filled with shredded beef and potato, served on a bed of lettuce with a side of aji, a Colombian pico de gallo ($11).
Barroco Grill has soft drinks and coffee to accompany your meal, but you are welcome to bring your own beverages with no corkage charge. Carryout is available. Major credit cards are accepted. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Phone Barroco Grill, 12906 Madison Ave. in Lakewood, at 216-221-8127 for reservations.