The popular buzz has drawn us in and the empanadas will keep us coming back. Mi Carreta Restaurant and Bakery has been a popular recommendation for Colombian cuisine in our St. Petersburg Foodies Restaurant Reviews Facebook group. With all the hype, we decided to check it out for ourselves. Spoiler alert: totally worth it.
Stopping near this hole-in-the-wall gem for divine baked goods and meat-based meals is the norm for regulars. Whether you are looking for a more traditional beef or chicken empanada, addicting croissants or extremely rich meats, you can have it all in one place at Mi Carreta Restaurant and Bakery.
I had a little trouble ordering at first as the menu is mostly in Spanish and I didn’t know what each item on the menu was but after a little google translation google looking for pictures and descriptions for each item, I managed to place two wonderful large orders. Honestly, I can’t wait to try more of their food even though I’m still full of what I’ve had before.
It is fair to start with dessert. Mi Carreta’s baked goods are unsurpassed and a treat.
Starting from the top left and turning clockwise around the plate we have two almojabanas, a chicken empanada and a beef empanada, a bunuelos cheese ball, a guayaba and a queso and two croissants.
The almojabanas were soft, moist, and very satisfying for their simplicity. An almojabana is just bread with cheese and cornmeal, but there is something spectacular and addicting here.
You already know that I have a big heart for empanadas. They are small, but powerful. The shredded mixture of chicken in one and beef in the other was so tasty and paired well with the crispy corn crust. If you are visiting Mi Carreta, do yourself a favor and order a few.
The overall experience with the bunuelos cheese ball was interesting and unexpected. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I mean, really sweet. Reminded me of a donut but more salty with just a little sweetness.
The guayaba and queso pastry is the sweetness I was looking for. The guava paste enhances all the paste and makes you want more and goes so perfectly with the processed cheese. I would recommend warming this up before experiencing all the gooey goodness.
Finally, fresh croissants found a special place in my heart. These were my favorites because they were so buttery, perfectly flaky, and amazing. In addition, they are huge and very filling. Doesn’t a freshly baked croissant and coffee seem ideal to you right now? Mi Carreta Bakery is my new go-to spot for a Saturday morning treat.
Finally, the giant chocolate chip cookie of course caught my eye and I had to order it on the way out. I’m so glad I did. The thick dough and huge chocolate chips took this simple dessert to the next level. The soft middle is enclosed in a perfectly crispy and golden exterior. You can tell in a bite that this bakery knows what it’s doing. I mean, this was truly one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had and that says a lot.
Now that I’ve trained you in the sweet stuff, let’s talk about the restaurant dishes I’ve tried.
The Mi Carreta platter is part of the breakfast menu and is described on the menu as follows: calentado de arroz y frijol huevos pericos y arepa con queso y carne asada. Google Translate: warmed with rice and beans, pericos eggs and arepa with cheese and roast meat.
This plate is full of flavors. I especially liked having a bite of the scrambled eggs and the carne asada together. Rice and beans are out of this global phenomenon. I don’t know what they do to make them so addicting but trust me they are so good.
The tostones are a must. They’re overall soft, with a carmalized exterior and warmth on the inside. They are irresistible and almost melt in your mouth.
These are the biggest yuca fries I have ever seen. They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s a pretty safe thing to order if you’re looking for a simple edge. They will fill you up quickly.
I had high hopes for chicharron con arepa after seeing so many reviews about it, but honestly didn’t like it. I’m pretty sad about it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it. The chicharron was very crispy on the outside and great, super oily on the inside. I think if you really like fried pork belly and can handle the fat then you will probably like them.
Bandeja Mi Carreta is another popular dish that many have praised. I can taste why. This platter includes grilled chicken breast, blood sausage, fried eggs, pork skin, avocado, fried plantains, corn cake, rice and beans.
Overall this dish was huge, filling, very tasty, and beyond delicious. My favorite parts were the perfectly tasty blood sausage, the fine but exceptionally juicy grilled chicken, the crispy fried plantains, and of course, the rice and beans. The pork was just too fatty for my taste, but I would really like it. I thought the fried egg was a nice addition, but it was actually really good when cut with the sausage and some rice and beans.
My overall experience here was great. I wish I had known more Spanish to really understand the menu and try new things, but I will definitely be back to explore more. I have to say this review pushed me a bit out of my comfort zone as I was not introduced to Colombian cuisine until this time. Can’t wait to try more items offered here and especially to return for the baked goods.
Simple Colombian bakery and full service restaurant offering traditional dishes.