Orinoco, Brookline Village (overrated?)
Many CHers have posted great things about both locations. We were promptly seated at 6:00 last evening, only to wait 30+ mins or so for appetizers. I'm not a fan of large portions, but three of us were not given enough rice to even feed my 4-yr old daughter. A request for more yielded a "cereal bowl" of rice (and a charge of $4.50 for rice and beans). The arepas and pollo adobo were not bad, though the tostones were dripping in oil. We left underwhelmed.
Sorry you had a bad experience but it sounds unusual for this place. We were there the night before and it was quite different. I had the smoked churrasco with a side of yuca and there was enough to take home for a snack. The beef had a complex smoky flavor with a hint of sugar cane and was delicious, BBQ with a twist. We have had the tostones several times and they have never been greasy or mealy as is often the case in other places, and the garlicy mojo sauce is a delight. My wife had the pollo polveroso, which initially came out barely warm but when she told the waiter they brought a new one almost immediately and it was much better, spiced and shredded chicken in a pastry shell, small but intensely flavored. My 8 year old daughter always enjoys the arepas and fruit juices. Prices are very reasonable and we certainly didn't leave hungry. The staff was very friendly, and they all wished me a happy birthday even though we decided to skip dessert for cake at home. Give it another try.
I like the fact that the portions are reasonable. What was the dish you had with rice? Of course, I'm watching how much I eat let my dear husband finish many of my meals. I'm probably less aware of quantity than most.
It's apparent that they make everything fresh, perhaps they weren't quite ready at opening last night. What were the appetizers you ordered?
I have found them extremely friendly and responsive but realize that may not be every patron's experience.
How about one more try for the fellow hounds?
just came back from our second trip to orinoco and don't feel i overrated it at all as my second meal was as delightful as my first one. service was fine. Four of us came at 6 on a friday, were seated right away, got our drinks and appetizers within 10 minutes of ordering, and our salads and mains with great promptness. our waiter was pleasant and attentive and we all liked our food very much: two diners had the lamb, one the tuna, and one the beef churrascaro. there was plenty of food on the plate and none of us left hungry. our only complaint was the noise level grew and the place had a line out the door by 6:45. we decided on desert at Athans because we need a little quiet!
The spouse and I liked our first trip to Orinoco BV so much that we took my dad there for Father's Day. We intended to arrive exactly at 6pm (the opening time as advertised on the website) to get a table, as they don't take reservations. We arrived just before 6 only to discover that they open at 5:30. So, we wandered around a very dead BV for a while and when a table still wasn't available 30 minutes later we went over to Matt Murphy's for a pint and chips.
Finally got seated and had a nice server. Our food was just okay. I had the tuna special with a side salad swimming in dressing. I am one of those people who probably oversauces things, but even I was put off by this. One dc's arepa had a very, very tough dough and it was difficult to eat. Another's Pabellón Criollo was kinda bland, nothing really stood out flavor-wise. No one was raving about their food, and I was with a bunch of usual ravers. We were disappointed, especially with the arepa. HOpefully just an off night.