a puppy & valencia luncheria

hubs and i drove up to connecticut this weekend to pick-up harry, our new puppy! he’s a black & white tibetan terrier, who at 3 months is weighing in at a whopping 7 lbs 14 oz.  he’ll be making future guest appearances on the blog. . . well, that is until he learns to write his own!

on our way up to the breeder, hubs and i made a pit-stop in norwalk, where we ate at valencia luncheria, a place that had been mentioned in both the new york times and diners, drive-ins & dives.  it’s a tiny and cheerfully decorated joint, seating about 16 or so.  most of the customers seemed to be regulars, there for takeout.  we arrived at 11:30am and waited about 15 minutes for a table.  by the time we left at 12:30pm, the wait extended to 30 minutes.

the menu, described by the restaurant as venezuelan cuisine, is extensive, relatively cheap and in fact has a mix of latin & classic american diner type dishes.  the exotic fresh juices and batidos are excellent — very similar to the ones from similar cuban run fruit shacks in miami.  a large guanabana juice (as pictures) goes for $5.50 — certainly not as cheap as miami, but a relative bargain compared to nyc, where my grapefruit juice at brunch the weekend before ran me $8.

the table next to us ordered mostly the classic american diner dishes like pancakes, omelets, waffles and eggs that came in heaping portions.  they seemed to have enjoyed them well-enough based on what little was left on their plates, though i can’t really comment not having tried them.

instead hubs and i went after their venezuelan beach specialties.  hubs ordered the carne mechada arepa (the beef is tender and flavorful; although i felt a bit ambivalent to the actual arepa shell) and i got the chicken pabellon, which was kind of like a heaping plate of slow cooked pulled pork but with chicken. the plantains were quite delicious and very similar to the cuban ones i enjoyed at versailles in miami a while back.

we also ordered a side of yucca fries and the ceviche, which came with tostones on the side.  i  munched heartily on the yucca fries.  we both thought that the ceviche lacked the freshness and acidity that one looks for in ceviche and would recommend skipping it in the future.

in short, valencia luncheria features good food in heaping portions.  it’s a bit like finding a bit of miami in connecticut.

Valencia Luncheria
172 Main Street
Norwalk, CT 06851

15 responses to “a puppy & valencia luncheria

  1. Ohhh…. I ♥ Harry! Adorable! Congrats on the new addition and so good to know about Valencia. That might be the freshest looking avocado I have ever seen in a restaurant!

  2. Is Harry from Mark Shangold in Easton, CT?

    • tomatointribeca

      why yes he is!

      • We brought home our TT, Oscar, from Mark Shangold as well : )

      • tomatointribeca

        you’re going to have so much fun! harry was a challenging puppy but he’s finally settled in!

      • Oh Oscar is 4 1/2. We love him to bits and pieces!!

        I wonder if him and Harry have any of the same relatives…

        My one piece of NY advice, you MUST take him to A Cut Above on the UWS for grooming. They are the absolute best groomers and truly know how to do a TT.

      • tomatointribeca

        ah! harry and i met another Shangold TT downtown a few mos back; tho different dame & sire. i’ve been loathe to take him to get his hair professionally trimmed b/c i like his shaggy & scrappy look! so far, we’ve been able to maintain it at home.

      • Based on the age difference I’d assume the have different parents (and Oscar is brindle color) but they may be cousins somewhere in there!!!

        There is an American Cancer Society walk the first week in May in Riverside Park that a lot of TT’s come to. You should bring Harry!!


        I can’t remember how old Oscar was when he had his first haircut but A Cut Above does a fantastic job!! We do the in between maintenance at home. We keep Oscar’s hair long : )

      • tomatointribeca

        oh wow! oscar’s picture shows up now. he’s so cute!
        we’ll have to check out the walk in may.

      • Thanks! We think he’s pretty cute too!

        Just out of curiosity, who are Harry’s dam and sire? I seem to remember one of Oscar’s brother’s in his litter was black and white. Who knows, maybe they do share a parent!!

      • tomatointribeca

        harry’s mom is Zazu, who is one of mark’s dogs. i think the sire is Panda, but can’t recall.

      • Wow, they almost had the same mom!! Mark had two liters born at the same time and we just looked at the original paperwork we received (before we picked Oscar…. or he picked us really). Of the two liters the dam of one was Zazu and the other was Hermione. Alas, his lineage chart shows that Hermione is his mom. His dad is Tersana on My Adventure (not sure of his normal name). It might be Panda because his dad is black and white.

      • tomatointribeca

        just whipped out harry’s lineage chart too. Zazu’s show name is Tersana Hakuna Matata and his sire’s show name is Snowlions Pabu Shan.

      • Hmmm… seems unlikely then that they’re related. It was however a Mark Shangold TT that lived in Tribeca that inspired us to seek out Oscar!

        Enjoy Harry!! TT’s are the best pups!! They say Tibetans are like little people and they truly are. They do some of the funniest things that you just don’t see other dogs do.

      • tomatointribeca

        also, one of harry’s brothers was brindle colored. . .

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