Maize & Wheat Columbian Cafe - Amazing Arepas and Potato Soup

3.89/5 stars Review Philosophy

Maize & Wheat Columbian Cafe Takeaway. A Cozy Columbian Cafe With Excellent Arepas. One of the few good non-chain restaurants near the Brentwood Promenade. Columbian food is kind of close to Mexican food but with more plantains, eggs, and soup. My favorite part of the meal is the potato soup. Arepas, fried ground maize filled with your choice of meat, and empanadas are better than average. Fairly priced.

You should definitely give it a try. The dough in Columbian food is too corn-heavy for me, but you need to decide for yourself. My buddies liked their food a lot more than I did.

Service was a bit slow. The main chicken dish ($13.99) took 24 minutes to arrive, while arepas (~$9) and empanadas ($3.5) came out in 14 minutes. Very friendly and helped me with my order. Dedicated parking lot.

Table Of Contents: Experience | Food | Atmosphere | Receipt

Maize and Wheat chicken plate


  • 1912 S Brentwood Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63144
  • (314) 749-4778
  • Facebook
  • Yelp - 4.6 stars - 81 ratings
  • Google Maps - 4.5 stars - 334 ratings


Monday9 AM–8 PM
Tuesday9 AM–8 PM
Wednesday9 AM–8 PM
Thursday9 AM–8 PM
Friday9 AM–8 PM
Saturday9 AM–8 PM
Sunday10 AM–4 PM


Maize & Wheat Columbian Cafe Experience Summary

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe signage

My four-year-old and I are driving home from the new Brentwood Park on a Thursday afternoon. We built up a big appetite by going up and down the Astroturf slides on repeat.

His brother and mom are out for dinner tonight, so we have to pick a place on the way home. After checking Google Maps, I found the options are Panera and Maize & Wheat. I went to Maize & Wheat a year ago, and Panera is boring, so I figure we'll make M&W work tonight.

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe front selfie

If you haven't had Columbian food before, the best way to describe it is Mexican with more plantains. Arepas and soup seem to be the specialties you won't find at a Mexican hole-in-the-wall.

So we got all three.

It took a while for the food to come out, which wasn't great for the four-year-old. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get him to dig the arepa or empanada. I eventually got him to eat some of the eggs from within the arepa to hold him over. I thoroughly enjoyed the empanada. I wasn't a huge fan of the arepa. Since we got the plain egg, it really relied on the tortilla. Being purely fried ground maize, it didn't do it for me.

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe inside selfie

The main chicken dish came out twenty-four minutes after ordering. My son was ready to eat only the "grey" part of the chicken, which was anything that didn't have the delicious skin flavoring on it. Kids sometimes worry me on the taste side, but this little dude put the meat of the chicken back. We both really liked the rice--plain white rice with salt and other flavors. Neither of us really liked the fried plantains, but I don't like bananas.

But the kicker for me was the soup. I didn't even realize it came with the order, but the potato soup was top-notch. There were big fresh potatoes throughout, and the flavor was nice.

Nothing boring on this menu.

Hunger gone.

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe menu 1 Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe menu 2 Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe menu 3 Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe menu 4

The Food At Maize & Wheat Columbian Cafe

It's worth getting Maize And Wheat to see if you like Columbian food. I've been here with friends who like it a whole lot more than I do.

While the closest food most people have had is Mexican, it's distinctly different around the margins. I'll use Mexcican food as a reference point for that reason, knowing it's not the same.

Most everything has a corn base. And you'll have to like fried food because most orders contain at least fried plantains. I added to the frying with arepas and empanadas.


Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe egg arepa

The arepas are the unique take you'll want to try. They aren't my favorite because they're corn-based. Think like a thick friend corn tortilla filled with goodness. I'm a big fan of the goodness in the middle, but the corn container has a ton of flavor and holds a lot of oil. I don't enjoy that combo as much in the real world as I think I would writing it out now. Why don't I like fried corn?

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe egg arepa inside

But, as a counterpointer, the two buddies I came with in the past really, really like them.

My son and I both liked the plain egg filling in the middle. $6 seemed a bit steep for the quantity of food.


Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe beef empanada

Accidentally going in reverse order of my favorites, I liked the empanadas more than the arepas. Still a bit too much on the fried side, but the filling was excellent again. It had kind of a hamburgery / burrito quality to it. I'm not an empanada expert, so I'll limit my thoughts here. I liked them, but not enough to order again.

My four-year-old did not care for it. The flavor profile was a bit too complex for his taste buds.

For $3.50, the empanadas are a steal.

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe empanada inside

Plantains, Chicken, and Rice

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe chicken plate

We got the fried plantains, chicken thigh, and white rice combo for a main dish. I was looking for something plain for my son to eat and it was delivered.

Not deep-fried with batter like traditional American fried chicken, the chicken had spices on the skin that I enjoyed. My son called it the yellow part and did not enjoy it. He only wanted the "grey" part, the underlying chicken meat. That was perfectly cooked and juicy.

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe fried plantains

We both really liked the white rice that had obviously been cooked in some kind of broth that added extra flavor. It was a bit salty, but we both liked it.

And, to my surprise, my son did not like the fried plantains. Kid loves bananas. He loves french fries. He does not love French fried bananas. I don't like bananas or plantains, but I thought these were good, given that caveat.

$13.99 for a dish this size seemed exactly on point. Especially because it came with soup.

The Potato Soup

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe potato soup

This part of the meal came out of nowhere to me. I didn't see that the main dish had soup, but it was a pleasant surprise. With at least two different types of potatoes, the broth's saltiness complimented the silky smooth potatoes. I don't know what it was besides some other veggies, but this would be a must-order for me next time.

I think it would be soup all the way down for me next time. The menu has many different soup options to explore.

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe potato soup bite

Maize & Wheat Columbian Cafe Atmosphere And Miscellaneous

Maize & Wheat is one of the only unique local food spots near the Brentwood Promenade, which is filled with Paneras and Chipotles. The restaurant has a unique mix of St. Louis vibes with Columbian accents.

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe digital menu

The large open eating area centers around a counter with digital menus and a fountain drink station. The kitchen bookends on the side of the restaurant, and a fully stocked bar is on the other.

You order at the counter before they give you a number placard. You grab something to drink and then take it with you to your seat of choice. I'd prefer a booth, but my son picked a table middle middle.

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe pickup

The service was a bit slow compared to other similar Mexican restaurants. I know Columbian does not equal Mexican, but it's the mainstream closest comparison everyone will understand. It took us 14 minutes to get the first wave of dishes and closer to 24 for the main dishes. Again, not awful, but my son got pretty hungry.

Bathrooms in the back if you need them.

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe order Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe seating

Parking At Maize & Wheat

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe parking

Maize & Wheat has a dedicated parking lot right out front. Easy, peezy parking, although I've never been at prime eating hours.

Maize & Wheat Columbian Cafe Receipt

Maize And Wheat Columbian Cafe receipt

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