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Sweet Surprise

La Sorpresa Colombiana isn't what you expect

Among the appetizers, the empanadas ($1 for a serving of two) are a standout. Instead of baking its empanadas, La Sorpresa fries them. The result is a crust that's piping hot and irresistibly crisp. One of the people who ate with me said they reminded him of corn dogs. Never having eaten a corn dog myself, I'm unable to vouch for the accuracy of this statement.

I don't recommend the chorizo ($2.25), which, in addition to being bland, was full of gristle. But I did like the arepa ($1.50). It looks like a thick tortilla and, at La Sorpresa, is garnished with queso fresco. If you add the right amount of salsa, it makes a pleasant snack. But I don't suggest you make a meal of them. They're a little Spartan.

La Sorpresa Colombiana, 7126 Clarewood, 995-8611.

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