My husband is from Venezuela. Because of him I have been having delicious Venezuelan specialties at home, in restaurants in NYC, as well as in Caracas, and really love them. So different from growing up in a plain and simple food family! The food is clean and fresh but oh so tasty! Nothing processed, all made with fresh ingredients, and a lot of healthy options. We all especially love Arepas, a corn meal bread used to make sandwiches or eaten alone. Another favorite are Cachapas…maybe my personal favorite! These are softer corn pancakes cooked thick and lumpy with pieces of corn inside…filled with cheese. Delicious.
Living in NYC I feel that we are very lucky to have a choice of restaurants and supermarkets that are filled with a variety of foods. We have recently been going to one Venezuelan restaurant called Guayoyo in New York's East Village. A homey restaurant where the owner/chef Carmen comes and greets you…tables are covered with fun oil print cloths, enameled cups filled with utensils and menus on the wall mingling with Venezuelan masks.
We order arepitas, yucca fries and tequenos (fried white cheese sticks) as appetizers, served up quickly. This time around I try the Desayuno Criollo which was a complete huge brunch of beans, salad, arepa, eggs and I had the chicken salad with avocado. So filling! I could eat these little arepitas all day long...eating a hot one makes me smile they are so good!
The kids and our friends kids have a variety of arepas, empanadas, and cachapas…while sipping Chicha - a rice drink with cinnamon typical to Venezuela. For dessert our party cannot resist the homemade bread pudding, custards and cake!
For a nice inexpensive different brunch or dinner, I would highly recommend Guayoyo! Ask to say hi to Carmen from us!
Guayoyo 67 1st Ave (at 4th St), New York 10003