Tag Archives: Arepas

Valencia Luncheria Food Truck Brings Arepas, Burritos, and More to CT!

1 May

Chef Michael Young has been a busy boy.  First he got the Bodega Food Truck up and running and now he’s putting the finishing touches on the Valencia Luncheria Food Truck.  Holy crap, yes, it’s true.  Valencia + food truck = DA BOMB!

The food truck serves two purposes:

1)  It’s an easy way for Valencia to cater parties and events.

2)  It’s an easy way for your to get your Valencia fix when you’re not near their Norwalk spot.

Starting off, they will are offering arepas, burritos, salads, and a few other options.  As they go out and make food, they’ll tweak and change the menu if need be.  Their plans right now are to hit up Landmark Square/Vets Park in Stamford two days a week, so get ready!  And, they will certainly be hitting up other spots around Fairfield County, too, so make sure that you’re following them on Facebook, and Twitter.

For more information about hiring Valencia for catering or parties, please call ’em up at (203) 453-5928.

Valencia Luncheria Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Unsuspecting Location + Unique Menu Offer Pleasant Surprise! Basso Cafe – Norwalk, CT

16 Sep

Disappointed by our meal the prior weekend at Sails in Rowayton, we felt like we needed redemption but were afraid to branch off somewhere new if it wasn’t going to be a sure bet.  Being the devoted food bloggers we are, we went for it and had a hunch after some research that Basso Cafe would be that sure bet we were looking for.  For one, we had a strong recommendation from a Twitter friend.  Two, when we checked out the menu, it looked awesome.  And lastly, when we checked out their Zagat score we found a crazy amazing 28/30.  That’s pretty impressive! Even if the restaurant itself is in the most unsuspecting location ever:  New Canaan Avenue in the Silvermine neighborhood of Norwalk.

After we made our online reservations, we got a call from Basso reminding us that they were BYOB and to come prepared.  We thought that was very nice of them to do! Starting off, Chef Renato Donzelli created the Basso Cafe menu based off his life experience, so it’s what he knows best.  He was born in Venezuela and was raised in Italy which lead him to create a menu that has some Latino flare and Mediterranean flavor.  A win-win in our book!

We decided to go with lots of apps and share an entree so we could get lots of tastes.  That’s how we roll, ya know?

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Step on the brakes for this delicioso Venezuelan spot! Masas Resturant – Norwalk, CT

10 May

A plethora of fresh juice and arepas

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.

A veg option here at Masas

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

Arepa patties

The Pernil arepa! Yum!

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!

Pabelon Arepa

The Pernil arepa! Yum!

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.

Vegetarian Arepa

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!

Masas Restaurant

Noms: 4 (for the arepas only as of now)

Cost: $

Address:  330 Westport Avenue

Norwalk, CT

Phone: (203) 939-1113

Masas Arepera Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Typico Venezuelan breakfast is more like extraordinaria! Valencia Luncheria–Norwalk, CT

27 Mar

Holy Frijoles and Chorizo Batman!

Typico, Not So Typical in CT!

Update:  Michael Young has opened up Bodega Taco Bar in Fairfield.

Going to diners for breakfast is such a CT/Long Island kinda thing to do.  It’s not to say that diners aren’t great, they are comforting, dependable, and just damn good.  But, sometimes you have to branch out and try new things.  So, we decided to add some spice to our breakfast by heading to Valencia Luncheria–one of our faves for lunch and dinner, good, down-home, Venezuelan.  We walked in just in time to get a table, though it took quite a while for our waitress to take our order.  It’s understandable, though, because it was just her taking orders and serving.  When we got our meal we were dying of hunger and dove in, but not before taking some good pics.  You know, that might be the hardest part of having OmNomCT:  delaying our needs and gratifying our hunger just to get some good photos. We like to call it our “saying grace.” :)

Well, let’s get down to it.  I ordered the Red Smitty tortilla wrap and it came out much like a burrito, but cut in half.  Gooey cheese lined the inside of the tortilla, surrounding beautiful and smoky chorizo.  You could taste that they had grilled the chorizo which gives even deeper flavors to the wrap.  Throw in some chipotle for additional smokiness and my add-in of black beans and you’re almost there.  The real star of the Red Smitty was the egg, though.  It was light and fluffy and had such a fresh taste to it.  Unable to resist one of my favorites, I asked for plantains on the side and they were fried very well and oh-so-sweet.

Our waitress also gave us a bowl of rice and beans out of confusion, but who are we to deny a challenge?  I took that opportunity to try their two sauces:  a hot and spicy chipotle sauce and a puréed cold vegetable sauce.  The red sauce was smoky and had a really good heat behind it–definitely not subtle.  The green (vegetable) sauce was chunky, but not too thick, and had lots of fresh flavor playing off the cilantro.  Kristien went wild with these sauces in her dish (which she absolutely loved):  the Typico Breakfast.  In Costa Rica, they call this Tico Pinto.  As she dug her way through the eggs, over easy, beans and rice, and plantains we talked about how much we missed being in Costa Rica and how much we loved the food. Valencia, though, took us back.

Platanos, Por Favor! For the Gringos, That’s Plantains

If you come here, you come here for the amazing food, the freshly made juices, and the authenticity.  It’s one of the best dives in Fairfield County for sure. Service might be slow, but if you can get past that, you’ll keep coming back. Also, coming in at just $20, this was a pretty damn cheap meal.  It’s also BYOB, so bring $5 for a bottle ($10 for 2 or more) with a nice deep South American red to go with the food here. Jennifer Young (her husband Michael is the chef extraordinaire here) explained, also, that there is no fee for bringing in your cerveza!  You hear that Food Plus Beer?  Just remember, cash only!  Oh, and hey, guess what?  Guy Fieri was here!

Valencia Luncheria

Noms:  4.5

Cost:  $$

Address:  164 Main Street

Norwalk, CT

Phone:  (203) 846-8009

Website:  http://www.valencialuncheria.com

Valencia Luncheria on Urbanspoon

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