100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 38: Ajiaco at Casa Vieja

Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2016 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

Few things are as soul-restoring as a good bowl of chicken soup. On the last Sunday of every month, Carrollton’s Casa Vieja serves Colombia’s jazzed-up version of chicken soup, ajiaco. This once-monthly special is a massive, Texas-sized bowl with chicken, a bit of corn cob, and as many different kinds of potatoes as they can find. Ajiaco comes with rice and little side bowls of heavy cream and capers, so that each diner can self-serve the traditional garnishes.

Don’t be timid with them. In a soup with so many things going on — native herbs, succulent chicken and broth, a variety of potatoes — the cream especially ties it all together into a magical whole. Ajiaco, we’re convinced, has restorative powers for both the body and the spirit. It proves that tired grandma-cliché about chicken soups and souls. 

Why does Casa Vieja only make it one day a month? They must realize that, otherwise, we’d never eat anything else.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Brian Reinhart has been the Dallas Observer's food critic since spring 2016. In addition, he writes baseball analysis for the Hardball Times and covers classical music for the Observer and MusicWeb International.
Contact: Brian Reinhart