The Best Place for Venezuelan Food in Tampa
As a Venezuelan I have been highly disappointed every time that I’ve gone to a Latin food restaurant or cafe expecting to eat flavors that remind me of home. Yes, there are some places that may have good Puerto Rican, Cuban or Colombian food, but nothing good enough for me to make me want to go back to them. I guess that is sometimes I made the big mistake of spending money at Don Pan, a bakery where I could get my fix of good enough Venezuelan food. However, The Arepas and Cachapas (Two very typical Venezuelan dishes) served at Don Pan are only good if you haven’t eaten Venezuelan food in a very long time or ever. I had to find something else!!!! It was was in Don Pan where I found out in a Latin newspaper about “Un Solo Pueblo.” I decided to go an try it out. “
“Un Solo Pueblo” is a small cafe where they serve the most typical Venezuelan food that you can ever find in Tampa. The Owner and the Chef are two very nice women who work there just because they love making people happy and at home. Every time you go there you feel more like you are going to eat at their houses instead of a restaurant, and at least for Venezuelans, it might feel as if you were going to eat at your you mother’s house. All of their food is good and very hearty, and of course made with lots of love. Not only do they serve Venezuelan dishes that you can find at Don Pan (Arepas and Cachapas) they also serve great Andean-Venezuelan dishes like pisca Andina (a soup made with eggs, potatoes, chicken, milk and vegetables) and drinks like Chicha Andina (a drink made out of fermented pineapple). Now, don’t go there any day expecting to be able to order of the menu. They will only cook big meals Fridays and Sundays. Additionally, they are always changing a few plates in their menu, so some weeks they may serve Andean Venezuelan dishes and others they may decide to make food that is more typical to the plains of Venezuela. Nevertheless, every other day of the week (except Saturdays, when they are closed) you can get other great small Venezuelan dishes like empanadas and tequenos. In adition, they also sell most types of Venezuelan chesses ( about 5 different kinds) and other products that I have only seen in Venezuela.
Ok Ok, I am actually not expecting every one to understand what Cachapas, Arepas and Tequenos are. I remember trying to explain to a guy I met what arepas are. I kept telling him “they are this things that that are made with pre-cooked white corn flour” and he kept telling me (about 4 times) “ooh like tortillas, right?” Now, I seriously don’t think that everyone that reads this is going to think that Venezuelan food is “just like any other Latin Food…tortillas, tacos, rice and beans.” But since my explanation of this dishes apparently is never clear enough I will provide you with a few links at the end of this article that may describe them better than I can. But remember to go with an open mind, try new things….don’t discredit food form Latin American countries as being just rice and beans….or burritos! Ah, and just in case…Latin American Food is Latin Food (from Latin America), not Spanish food!(from Spain)…I had to stick that somewhere :)
Un Solo Pueblo is here:
4023 W Waters Ave
Tampa, FL 33614
For those who want to go to “Un Solo Pueblo” but want to know what to expect, or for those who just like to learn new things:
My humble Blog:
Epale pana! ;-)
Well, here's a shoutout from Miami - even the Venezuelan places in Miami don't seem to satisfy my tastebuds all the time. Sometimes I find the dishes a little too simple or redundant. Pabellon, arepas, tequenos, y cachapas can't seem to be matched with those in Venezuela (although European Corner, La Reina de las Empanadas and Date Aqui does it pretty well here). But even if they weren't simple, the choices are still limited. Nowhere can I find specific Venezuelan cuisines like what you've mentioned - Andean-Venezuelan! I wish I could have some of those arepas andinas! All the restaurants here are the same and if they aren't, they serve other cuisines that are already abundant (Japones-Venezuelan, Italian-Venezuelan, etc serves their other respective cuisines but Venezuelan).
It would be wonderful if I could find some place that elevates the status of typical Venezuelan food (in Miami, there's only Cacao and maybe Hereford Grill and Brasero's, but the latter two are still typical in a nice way, and the former is not only haute Venezuelan cuisine but also pan-Latino - authenticity please?). An example of what I would like to see would be the Caracas Arepa Bar in New York.
Oh I went, and it was great! :-) But I think it got more pluses for the ambience, plating, and presentation than for the food itself - it still wasn't as good as the food I've had in Venezuela. But I love their different and creative offerings as well as some hard to find Venezuelan specialties (hard to find even in Miami).