The Cheat Sheet: Avenida

How to eat light—without losing a bit of flavor—at this Latin American eatery in Mount Airy.

Katie says you can't go wrong with gazpacho. Photo from iStockphoto

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.

Platos Fuertes

• 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.


Have a Philly restaurant you’d like to see featured in the Cheat Sheet? Let us know in the comments!

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.

>> See Cheat Sheets for other Philly restaurants here. And for Katie’s healthy dining-out tips, go here.