This week, Lauren and I took Graham and his friends, Rachel and Molly to Orinoco in the South End for some authentic South American food. Orinoco is really good and very reasonably priced! The interior of this restaurant completely transports you to Venezuela! This is a fun and interesting spot. It is tiny and they don’t take reservations, but the goal is to turn over the tables, so if you have to wait, hopefully it won’t be too long. We waited about 10 minutes on a Wednesday night at 7:00. The wait staff is friendly and very busy – while we didn’t see enough of them, when we did see them, they were very enthusiastic.
Here’s what we tried…..
Marachuchitos- Queso Paisa wrapped in sweet plantains: while I am not a big plantain fan, others loved this.
Arepas (traditional Venezuelan grilled corn pocket sandwiches): we tried the Reina Pepiada which is shredded chicken, avocado, cilantro and tomato. This costs $6.00 and with a salad could be a meal for someone who doesn’t need a lot of food. I loved this.
Empandas: traditional Latin American turn over patties served with fresh tossed salad and three special salsitas. We tried the Verde which is made with 100% plantain dough and filled with wild mushrooms, piquillo peppers and feta cheese. I thought it was a little heavy on dough.
Atun- Adobe rubbed Ahi tuna seared served with toasted calabaza seeds, and arugula tossed in sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Really good – three of us had this (what was I thinking) and all loved it!
I regret that we did not try the mojitos (there is a menu of special drinks and I have heard that they are good) or any of the beef dishes – there are lots of them, all reasonably priced around $18.00 and all very traditional Venezuelan dishes. I would love to go back and try more of their authentic and delicious food! I really recommend Orinoco for those of you who are living and working in Boston and don’t want to spend a fortune to go out for a meal. There are lots of interesting choices here.
Check out their menu at www.discovervenezuela.com
Many thanks to our guest tasters Molly and Rachel. Thank you for joining us! Also, many thanks to Megan Shaughnessy for another great restaurant suggestion – you’re the best!
Robin and Lauren