Glenn Lindgren: They have some great batidos here (milk shakes) in the most popular tropical flavors. However, on a hot August day, we all craved a cold soda and chose from a selection of both Cuban and Colombian favorites: Jupiña, Materva, Malta, Colombiana, Bretana, and Manzana.

Jorge Castillo: We started out with the picada, a mountain of delicious tidbits from the Colombian side of the menu, but with plenty of goodies to tempt a Cuban or two.

Glenn Lindgren: We're talking about delicious pieces of beef and roasted lechón asado, sweet, long-cut maduros that rivaled some of the best we've ever had.

Jorge Castillo: Best of all, tostonesand yuca frita fresh from the fryer that were hot and crisp and served with a spicy tomato-based sauce.

Raúl Musibay: We ate everything except the parsley!

Jorge Castillo: One salad caught our eye, a very un-Cuban spinach salad with goat cheese, grapes, almond, sun-dried tomato, and bacon.

Glenn Lindgren: The lechón asado was a good, if not stellar, selection. The flavor was great, but we're used to falls-apart-with-a-fork tenderness and this dish was sliced thin from a pork roast. The included tamal was very tasty and moist, not dry as many at restaurants that victimize this essential Cuban staple – even in Miami.

HOURS: Open daily, 7:00 a.m. to Midnight | Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

PRICES: Very reasonable

DRESS: Casual

BAR: Full



Jorge Castillo: We would have probably overlooked this restaurant in a neighborhood north of Philadelphia's Center City – a place that many people told us was a "bit dicey."

Glenn Lindgren: However, Rita Giordano, a features writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer, sent us to one of her favorite Latin restaurants – Tierra Colombiana.

Raúl Musibay: The neighborhood is not that bad, just a little jog off busy Roosevelt Boulevard and for lunch and probably dinner, you will be reasonably safe here.

Jorge Castillo: Although parking can be a problem! You need to be resourceful to find something on the street.

Glenn Lindgren: We never expected to find a restaurant like this in this part of Philly! The interior reminded us a lot of the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa. Although not quite that big, Tierra Colombiana features plenty of seating in two large, tastefully appointed dining rooms and a full nightclub upstairs.

Jorge Castillo: Like many places we find around the country,Tierra Colombiana is another restaurant with a split personality: it's half Cuban and half Colombian.

Glenn Lindgren: No, it's not a fusion restaurant. In the true spirit of détente, the two cuisines coexist side by side on the same menu. We recommend that you ignore the segregation and order from both sides of the menu freely, and here's why: you're going to love both!

Jorge Castillo: The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but on this quiet Sunday we enjoyed a late afternoon dinner.

Raúl Musibay: Let me tell you that this restaurant is the type that we are used to in Miami with large portions and classic preparations of traditional Cuban and Colombian food.

Jorge Castillo: Even the Three Guys From Miami need to take a box or two of leftovers home from this place.

Plenty of seating in two large, tastefully appointed dining rooms and a full nightclub upstairs
Raúl Musibay: Yes, Cubans do love tamales ! Although our tamales are highly spiced, not spicy hot.

Jorge Castillo: Another dish we sampled was a bistec empanizado, a lightly breaded beefsteak that had an excellent flavor. Order a side of mojo or even the spicy sauce that comes with the picada and this dish will really sing!

The picada, a mountain of delicious tidbits from the Colombian side of the menu.
Glenn Lindgren: We had to try the cuban sandwich and we were surprised at the quality. Although you have to tell them to hold the mustard here, the sandwich is very authentic. The pan cubano is similar to what we've had in Union City and Tampa, a thinner, denser loaf than the classic Miami bread.

Jorge Castillo: It did toast nicely with the proper cracker crust Cuban sandwich fanatics know and love.

A very un-Cuban spinach salad with goat cheese, grapes, sun dried almond, tomato. and bacon
Bistec empanizado, a lightly breaded beefsteak served with fresh tostones.

Glenn Lindgren: The dessert list here is a minefield that is guaranteed to derail your most sincere dieting plans. They have everything from arroz con leche(rice pudding), to brevas con queso (figs with cheese), to papaya or guava pieces with cheese, to flan, pudin de pan, tres leches cake, tocinillo del cielo...

Raúl Musibay: ...And several more treats that shot our diets all to hell and sent us staggering to the exit.

Glenn Lindgren: Our hostess told us that the neighborhood is on the upswing. A long vacant warehouse turned shopping destination, the International Plaza across the street has recently been demolished and a new development is slowly rising in its place.

Raúl Musibay: If you want the most authentic Cuban – and Colombian – food in Philadelphia, Tierra Colombiana is the place to go.

The Details

Tierra Colombiana

Tierra Colombiana
4535 N 5th St
Philadelphia, PA 19140

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