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La Chiva Brings Colombian Cooking to South Broadway

Jorge Aguirre's signature empanadas are one of the draws at La Chiva.EXPAND
Jorge Aguirre's signature empanadas are one of the draws at La Chiva.
Mark Antonation
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Our first taste of La Chiva's Colombian street food came at Civic Center Eats two summers ago, when chef/owner Jorge Aguirre would park his brightly colored truck and hand out light, crispy empanadas made from scratch. By then, the truck had been operating for a year and Aguirre was beginning to hatch a plan to make La Chiva a permanent restaurant. That day came this past weekend, when the Colombian IT-professional-turned-cook and his wife opened the doors to La Chiva at 1417 South Broadway.

The restaurant will be in soft-opening phase for the next few days — so expect a scaled-back menu — and will have its grand opening on Friday, June 23. Aguirre says he had his liquor-license hearing last week and everything went well, so he hopes to be pouring beer and wine in about a month.

Although the Aguirres have been cooking the cuisine of their home country their entire lives, Jorge only became a professional chef after ending a career in technology in 2013 to attend cooking school. With the new restaurant, the menu will include larger entrees such as sancocho (a hearty soup/stew) as well as familiar antojitos like arepas and those empanadas. You'll also find a lomito sandwich made with slow-roasted and shredded pork on the opening menu.

La Chiva will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. (10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday), and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The restaurant will be closed on Mondays, so you'll have to wait a day to satisfy your Colombian craving. Aguirre says he'll also keep his food truck running, albeit with fewer appearances; look for the truck at locations like the South Pearl Street Farmers' Market and the Rayback Collective this summer.

Keep reading for a taste of La Chiva.

A platter of mixed appetizers, including two kinds of sausage, plantains, yuca and potatoes.EXPAND
A platter of mixed appetizers, including two kinds of sausage, plantains, yuca and potatoes.
Mark Antonation
La Chiva's South Broadway entrance.EXPAND
La Chiva's South Broadway entrance.
Mark Antonation
Inside La Chiva.EXPAND
Inside La Chiva.
Mark Antonation
Colombian sodas at La Chiva.EXPAND
Colombian sodas at La Chiva.
Mark Antonation

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