Comida Venezolana found in Elmhurst
My father told me that a new restaurant serving comida Venezolana (Venezuelan food) opened up in Elmhurst. We went down there for lunch last Saturday. First of all, it is more of a takeout place than a restaurant. There is only one small table for 2, along with 5 seats facing the wall or the window. Even though it is a small place, there were about 8 people working in the back. I later found out that they also operate a food truck at 202nd Street in Manhattan, so all those people must have been prepping for the truck.
On to the food ... I tried the pernil arepa and the ham and cheese arepa. The pernil arepa was very good although I like Arepas Cafe's version better. The ham and cheese used generic ham but it was saved by fried white cheese. Both arepas contained a house green sauce, which was tasty but lacked any heat at all.
It's a limited menu:
Patacones - this sandwich substitutes deep fried green plantain for bread, $5
Cachapas - sweet corn cake, $6
Tacuchos - Venezuelan stype burrito $4.50
The above comes with your choice of chicken, shredded beef, pernil, ham, and cheese. They also have tequenos, pastelitos, and empanadas.
I look forward to trying the patacones next time. Just wish they have a few tables inside.
85-22 Grand Ave
Elmhurst, NY 11373
431 West 202nd St
By the way, on the same block is a fresh tofu maker. They sell mostly to restaurants, but you can also go in to buy different types of tofu. My father buys tofu here frequently which was how he found out about the restaurant. The tofu shop is Chinese and I don't know if anyone speaks English there. But they make fantastic tofu.
After this article I tried the fare at El Cocotero. While I think I mis-ordered (I got a bland chicken salad version) I am tempted to try more of these. I think the best bet it to stick to heavier fillings that can overcome the fried (though not greasy) plantain "buns". Next time I go there it will be some carne and a Polar for me.
What an awesome place. I was there (Elmhurst location) over the weekend and ordered the pastelito, "full" patacon, and pernil patacon. I've only had Dominican pastelitos before. The size of this was huge -- much larger than the Dominican ones I've had in the past. And I found the crust a bit flakier. The filling was a combo of roast pork and shredded beef (I think) and was quite delicious. And a real bargain at $2 a piece.
The patacones were delicious as well. My preference was the full one (mixture of beef, pork and chicken) as I found the ratio of meat to plantains to be much better. With the pernil patacon, I tasted the plantain too much. The full patacon was $1 more than the pernil, but I think the extra dollar is definitely worth it.
rode by this past weekend; a place finally took over the place that was empty for so long, R.I.P. Chopsticks, one of the finest indian-chinese joints in the hood. anyway, glad to hear the place got some good reviews; the truck is associated with the restaurant? and here I always thought it was a dominican thing; cool that it is venezuelan. I'm partial to Caracas myself which is incidentally on Grand Street in Williamsburg so I could do a Grand to Grand Cachapa showdown on one bike ride! will definitely check out the patacon; I've been intrigued ever since DaveCook bought them to my attention.
xslikicex; you'll notice that the NYT article you linked to is written by none other than the man behind Eating In Translation anyway!