The Cheat Sheet: Avenida
Just because you’re going Latin American for dinner doesn’t mean you have to pack on the calories and fat with cheese and fried tortillas. Try this: At Avenida, break the rules (gasp!) and skip the chips, salsa and guacamole—a meal in itself—and opt for the real deal. Share a salad or starter, and indulge in the fresh flavors of the entrées.
Here are my picks for what you should order, and where you’ll find them on the menu.
Sopas y Ensaladas:
• Gazpacho >> Rich with vegetables, this cold soup will fill you up with flavor but not calories so you can indulge a bit later in the meal.
• Roasted beet salad with fennel, queso fresco and mango vinaigrette >> Go light on the cheese, but enjoy the natural sweetness this dish has to offer.
• Grilled octopus on mixed greens with avocado, garlic and tequila-roasted tomato sauce >> Tender and meaty, grilled octopus is a great alternative to fried calamari, which is much more caloric.
• Ceviche del dia >> A light, fresh, citrusy start to any meal.
• El Biche (Ecuadorian bouillabaisse) includes calamari, shrimp, scallops and mussels >> A broth-based seafood stew, this is a light, flavorful dish pefect for a cold day.
• Guatemalan chicken pepian with mole amarillo and Spanish rice >> If you’re in the mood for some serious flavor, a mole fits the bill. Go light on the sauce but enjoy each rich bite.
• Cilantro jumbo grilled shrimp with chayote, roasted pepper and quinoa >> I’m always a fan of quinoa on a menu. This nutty, fluffy grain is super good for you. Here, paired with sweet shrimp and a little heat, it’ll surely satisfy.
• Sautéed pintado with trio de frijoles and mango-pineapple salsa >> A Brazilian tiger-fish, pintado is a white, succulent meat.
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Restaurant menus are reviewed by Phillies dietitian and owner of Healthy Bites Katie Cavuto Boyle. In most cases, the individual restaurants were contacted for specific ingredient and recipe information. Note: Many restaurants have seasonal menus and some items may not be available.