La Sorpresa y Mas (Norwalk) – Colorful but Disappointing

I ventured for a quick lunch to see if all of the recommendations I have heard recently were deserved. As I approached this very off the beaten path location, which is more residential than commercial, the first item I noticed was the bright colors of the exterior. Parking is limited for about 10 cars and a little maneuvering is required.

DSC_1887-001Once inside, to the left there is a bakery with a hot salad bar (not self-served) and to the right is a dining area with ten to fifteen tables. Two HDTV oversee the dining area and during my visit they each were broadcasting an international soccer game.

DSC_1891-001The menu is as colorful as the exterior, full of a variety of Columbian cuisine. For some reason I was less than adventurous and ordered the Churrasco (medium rare), a grilled steak with Chimichurri sauce. It was served with arroz (rice), tostones (green plantains), frijoles (beans) and ensalada (salad).

DSC_1893-001The server brought a bowl of bean soup instead of the salad. The flavor of the soup was full of smokiness and with loads of al dente beans and pork, the soup was delicious.

DSC_1896-001The steak arrived while I was only halfway through the soup and my initial reaction was not positive. From the outside there was a lot of fat and grizzle and there were several slits through the main section, probably to check for the doneness. After a few bites my initial thoughts were confirmed, this was a fairly weak piece of meat, about 40% grizzle/fat, and it was medium-rare in certain spots and medium-well in others. On a positive note, the Chimichurri was outstanding. DSC_1898-001The rice and plantains were delivered as I was halfway through the steak. I liked the rice which brought just a bit if sweetness but the plantains were incredibly bland and boring.

Overall, I was not overly impressed with the food at La Sorpresa y Mas, the service was friendly but very disjointed. I blame myself a little for not ordering one of the dishes the regulars were enjoying at other tables. It is worth a revisit in the future but I am not rushing back.

61 Cedar St –¬†Norwalk,¬†CT 06854 – (203) 838-9809

La Sorpresa on Urbanspoon

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