by Alice Levitt
Feast your eyes on this. It doesn't look like anything available anywhere in Burlington, that's because it won't be until next week.
That's when Mayllet Paz of La Fondita Latina (formerly known as Peace & Love Catering) will have all the Latin ingredients she needs to begin cooking a varied menu of her native cuisine at Cool Runnings at 78 North Street in Burlington.
Paz will cook dishes from her native Panama, as well as specialties from surrounding Latin American countries, seven days a week. They join the jerk chicken and stewed goat already prepared at the Jamaican eatery by owner Leroy Hedley.
A selection of South and Central American groceries will also soon fill the shelves. The store currently has 12 seats, not including a summer-only picnic table, but Paz says another table is also expected to arrive next week.
Paz says that her Panamian stewed chicken won so many fans at this summer's Burlington Farmers Market that it will make the menu every day. Otherwise, items will change daily, including lime-marinated steak cooked on the grill outside.
But Paz is perhaps most excited about the fare she'll begin serving next Sunday. That's when she'll kick off a weekly tradition of sharing Panamanian breakfasts with the Queen City.
At right is a plate typical of what she expects to prepare. Fried beef is accompanied by an hojaldre, a sweet fried-dough pancake. The Twinkie-like pastry at the bottom of the plate is a carimañola, a meat pie with a crust of ground yucca. A cross-section can be seen at the top of this post.
Of course, no breakfast menu would be complete without both savory and sweet items. So we leave you with an image of the sugary ecstasy to come, in the form of brown-sugar-bathed plantains.