Pros: Delicious Colombian food, reasonable prices.
Cons: Too small, tables are crowded.
One thing we have a lot of here in South Florida is Spanish food. All kinds of Spanish food. One type that I particularly enjoy is Colombian food. And a great place to enjoy delicious Colombian food, and unbelievably reasonable prices is Chivas Express.
Like many of the restaurants in Hialeah, Florida, this restaurant is situated in a shopping center, and is nothing to look at, from the outside. There is no outdoor seating. But once inside, it's a well-lit, cheery looking place with colorful paintings of Colombian scenery adorning the walls. Unfortunately, this is a small place, with a limited number of tables, crowded close together. If you don't like feeling like you're sitting right on top of your neighbor, then this place will not be for you.
On the other hand, the food is delicious, the service is courteous (if sometimes a bit slow), and the prices more than reasonable.
Though I've never eaten there for breakfast, one look at the menu tells me that this is a place to go for a real bargain. Eggs any style, corn cake (think fried corn fritter), potatoes, and coffee or soda for $2.49. Or, if you swap out the potatoes, and add rice and beans, the meal is now $3.99. Or, you can have scrambled eggs with onions, tomatoes, and sausage, corn cake, and a beverage for $4.49. As I said, it sure sounds like a good deal to me.
Lunch and Dinner
The menu is the same for lunch and dinner. Mostly people order "combination plates". A main entree, two side dishes, and coffee or soda will cost from $6.50 to $8.00. Some of the entree choices are grilled chicken breast, steak Creole style, grilled liver and onions, breaded pork steak, fried tilapia, or grilled sirloin steak. Most of the people I've eaten here with choose the grilled chicken. Served with lime, it is always flavorful. I prefer steak and pork, and usually choose those options. Both are delicious.
The side dish options include white rice, red beans, French fries, sweet plantains, fried yucca, and boiled potatoes. Most people choose rice and red beans, and they mix the two. Not me, though. I choose the white rice and the sweet plantains.
There are also daily special meals. At a fixed price of $6.94, the special meals might include a soup or a salad and coffee or soda. When the special is Arroz con Pollo, I usually order it. That's a large platter of yellow rice, with vegetables and chicken mixed in. Another special I have enjoyed is a grilled steak, topped with a mixture of lentil beans and onions.
Regardless of what I've ordered, I've always enjoyed my meal. The service is always courteous, although as the servers speak much more Spanish than they do English, there's frequently a lot of pointing involved. Luckily, the menu is written in both languages. Particularly at lunch time, the service is sometimes a bit slow. When we want to come with a large party, we call in our order in advance. In this way, we are seated, and served immediately.
With such reasonable prices, and delicious meals, this is a definite favorite of mine.