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.
172 Main Street
Norwalk, CT 06851