Big Lunch | Bleader

Big Lunch

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It’s a wonder I've never been to the Columbian restaurant El Llano, since for the last ten years I've lived within an easy walk of it and passing by my wife and friends and I invariably say, “Oh, we should go there."  Last week, in the early afternoon,  the bubble finally burst and I went. The bad news first:  There isn't really a lunch menu—no sandwiches, no noshy kind of meal that you can enjoy in 20 minutes. Worse, prices are almost exclusively above $10. But here’s the good news: That $10 goes a loooong way. Upon ordering the charbroiled chicken, my wife received a carving board/serving platter so loaded with flattened and spiced chicken that we both laughed out loud. Before her sat no less than the complete breasts from four chickens. It seemed impossible and we were almost embarrassed to dig in. Our lunch was sublime, and the five meals that followed based on the leftovers were even better. (My brisket, served with fried plantains and cassava,  was equally good, but it seems beside the point to even bring it up.) My advice: If you need to feed the family on the cheap--our entire meal was about $25 -- El Llano is a great idea. Just bring a wheelbarrow to carry it all home.

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