Pretty much everyone in Fairfield County knows they can find great Venezuelan food at Valencia Luncheria, but we bet most of you have driven right on by another Venezuelan hidden gem in Norwalk 100x and never thought twice about it. Well, we’re here to tell you next time you drive by 330 Westport Avenue (past Penzey’s and before the Marshalls/Staples plaza), slam on your brakes (safely of course friends), turn into the Masas Restaurant parking lot and go get you some super yummy Venezuelan grub. Do it. You’ll thank us, then curse us when you’re addicted and have arepa withdrawl at 3AM on a random Friday night. Yeah, sorry about that.
So what makes Masas Restaurant so epic? Well, for one, it’s cheap, really cheap. It’s authentic–the family that owns it is straight from Venezuela. It’s fresh–every thing is cooked from scratch to order (so be prepared to wait, it’s an affordable casual restaurant, not fast food). And, it’s frickin’ tasty. Like, so tasty I actually like the arepas better than Valencia. SAY WHAT? Yeah I know, it was hard for me to even type that. Don’t worry, I am still madly in love with Valencia for their arepas and their other dishes too. There’s room in my belly, er, heart, for both places.
Ok, here’s the breakdown of what we tried. To caveat this, we only had the arepas so far, actually only 3 of their huge variety! So when we say it’s epic, we really mean the areaps are epic. We hear the rest of their menu rocks too (they get great reviews across the board) but we’ll have to go back for the other dishes to confirm. See how we sacrifice for you? teehee
The patties are what made Masas’ arepas the best I ever had. Made of cornmeal, the patties were lightly crisp and brown on the outside and oh-so-ridiculously-gooey and doughy on the inside. Many times restaurants overcook the patties making them a bit dry or too crisp, but not these bad boys. They melt in your mouth.
Pernil and Cheese Arepa
HOLY CRAP! This was by far the best arepa we’ve ever had. Man, my stomach just growled as I thought of it. Pernil is roasted pork, or in other words, soft, tender, flavorful, amazing pork with garlic, olive oil, oregano and black pepper. Words cannot describe how tasty it is. Put some cold, yellow cheese on top and it’s the perfect arepa. This is a MUST TRY!
This was another tasty delight consisting of seasoned pork, black beans and sweet plantains. The pork was not as jam packed full of flavor like the Pernil but it was still great. It was nicely cooked and tender with a subtle seasoning that balanced well with the texture and flavor of the black beans. Our only disappointment with this one was there was either not enough plantains on it, or they forgot to put them in because we didn’t taste them. Maybe next time.
We figured we had to balance out our meat fest with an all veggie one. This arepa came with avocado, tomatoes, onions and white and yellow cheese. It was a tad on the bland side because, well, the ingredients were bland. It’s not their fault. If you’re a vegetarian, we suggest getting this with beans so you get some strong flavor in there. Of course, the patties were good and we doused them with sauce so it ended up being yummy anyway.
We also must tell you about the wonderful drinks we washed this all down. They have a ginormous variety of fresh juices and blended iced/frozen juices. Being a sucker for fresh juice, I went for mango, my favorite. Mmm. Danny went for the brown sugar cane and lime juice drink that came free when you buy 3 arepas. He also enjoyed it very much saying it was very refreshing.
Next time we hit up Masas Restaurant, we’ll be sure to try some different dishes (though the arepas will be hard to resist) and let you know how they are. If you’ve been here and tried other dishes, we’d love to hear your feedback. And, if you haven’t been to Masas yet, get on that sheeot pronto!
Noms: 4 (for the arepas only as of now)
Address: 330 Westport Avenue
Phone: (203) 939-1113