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New Find - Venezuelan in Katy!!

j
Jaymes Mar 20, 2013 12:05 PM

I've been driving past the gas station at the corner of South Mason and Cinco Ranch Blvd in Katy for a couple of years now. Sure, I noticed the sign on one corner of the building that said, "Deli's Cafe," but I figured that particular "Deli" probably was short for "delicatessen" and, all too often, "delicatessen" is short for "cold sandwiches in a vending machine." So I never bothered to stop in and check it out.

Imagine my surprise when, about a week ago, while waiting at the doctor's office, I struck up a conversation with a woman newly-arrived from Venezuela. While chatting about her overall impressions of Katy, she said something to the effect that Katy's population is very heavily Venezuelan and that she had even found a brand new Spanish preschool to which she was planning on sending her 3-year-old daughter.

I have a 3-year-old granddaughter, so I was interested in this "brand new Spanish preschool," and I asked where it's located.

"It's at that mall on the corner of Mason and Cinco Ranch," she said. "You know, where Deli's Venezuelan Cafe is."

I didn't know where Deli's Venezuelan Cafe is. But I sure do now.

The place is run by Venezuelans, and it's as authentic Venezuelan cuisine as you can get. Not only is it not "cold sandwiches in a vending machine," it offers just about anything one could want: empanadas, pastelitos, arepas, asados, sopas, tostones, tajadas, tequenones, ensaladas, etc.

And my new very favorite thing: cachapas. Especially the one featuring "queso de mano," homemade cheese. I've never had anything quite like this. It sort of resembles a taco, but the texture of what would be the corn tortilla in a taco is softer, with large pieces of corn, kind of like if a corn tortilla and corn pudding had an illegimate love child. The homemade cheese in the one I ordered was a soft, mild white cheese. I noticed people at several tables pouring a delicious-looking green sauce over their cachapa, so I did the same.

This was easily the best fast-food type of lunch I've had in a very long time.

I can't possibly recommend this place highly enough.

  1. DoobieWah Mar 20, 2013 01:31 PM

    Interesting..,.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cachapa

    Now I'm hungry.

    1. Lambowner Mar 20, 2013 03:11 PM

      Gonna have to mention this one to my family. We lived there for a short two years in the way back days. Awesome!

      1. b
        brucesw Mar 20, 2013 11:40 PM

        I've been to Deli's a couple of times. Mentioned it on this board, too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: brucesw
          j
          Jaymes Mar 21, 2013 08:49 AM

          Can't believe I missed it, Bruce. I sure try to pay attention to any chichat about Katy.

          1. re: Jaymes
            b
            brucesw Mar 21, 2013 12:04 PM

            Glad that you found it and liked it. Sounds like you were more taken with it than I was but I never tried the cachapas. Best thing I've had there was the hallacas, but you'll have to wait for next fall for those, probably.

            There's another one on the Grand Parkway:

            http://www.budarekaty.com/index2.html

            Nicer room, arepas were very large, more pricey. They've recently changed hands, apparently. I didn't think it was as good as Deli's but I only went once, it's a long way out there.

            Also saw a Sabor Venozolano truck on Fry last year when I went up to Ritter's.

            Welcome to Katyzuela, as it's nicknamed.

            The green sauce was probably guasacaca, the Venezuelan version of guacamole. Some places have several to choose from.

            Let us know if you explore any of the others.

        2. g
          Geeber98 Jan 13, 2014 01:51 PM

          The sauce is called guasacaca and it is the greatest Venezuelan contribution to civilization since Simon Bolivar!

          Just wish Delis had yucca.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Geeber98
            j
            Jaymes Jan 14, 2014 12:43 PM

            Guasacaca? You mean guasacadelicious!

            Thanks for the info. It is nice to know what to call it. Think I'll do a little googling to see what's in it.

          2. j
            Jaymes Mar 11, 2014 03:28 PM

            Come I now with a true FFF (Fabulous Food Find), just the sort of obscure info that Chowhounders treasure.

            Everyone that knows anything about Katy knows about the large population of Venezuelan expats that are making their homes here. Well, I've been lucky enough to get to know quite a few of them, including receiving invites to various social activities.

            And there's something extremely delicious and intriguing that seems to always show up on their tables.

            It's an assortment of Venezuelan baked goods. I decided a little investigation was in order. What I discovered is Caprichos de Mila. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Caprichos-De-Mila/454842824569084

            According to my info, Mila is a Venezuelan woman who, upon realizing that nowhere could she find the baked goods of her country, saw a great opportunity for a business.

            I cannot stress enough how delicious her items are. You telephone her two days in advance and put in your order, then you go pick it up. Some of the small pastries, with chicken & beef inside, you fry yourself at home, so they are always fresh and so delicious.

            And her "Pan de Jamon" (http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=p...) is just fabulous.

            I'm telling y'all... Not as easy as driving up to an ordinary restaurant. But so totally worth it. I'm betting that if you try it, you'll be a regular customer!

            5 Replies
            1. re: Jaymes
              Lambowner Mar 12, 2014 09:43 AM

              OMG, she has tequenos. Ring the death knell for my low carb lifestyle. Holy moly, just looking at them makes my mouth water.

              https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...

              1. re: Lambowner
                g
                Geeber98 Mar 12, 2014 05:47 PM

                Lambowner you're a sick man and there is no cure!

              2. re: Jaymes
                g
                Geeber98 Mar 12, 2014 11:29 AM

                I can't find an address? Looked on FB and web site . Is it me?

                1. re: Geeber98
                  Lambowner Mar 13, 2014 07:56 AM

                  Apparently you call her up a couple of days in advance and pick it up, no storefront.

                  1. re: Lambowner
                    j
                    Jaymes Mar 13, 2014 11:14 PM

                    Right. She's doing this out of her house, primarily for folks "in the know," in the Venezuelan expat community. She doesn't put her address online because she doesn't want people thinking it's a regular sort of store/bakery, and just showing up.

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