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 Venezuelan - empanadas y patacones

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oltheimmer

  • Total Posts: 214
  • Joined: 6/25/2006
  • Location: Houston, TX
Venezuelan - empanadas y patacones Wed, 11/15/06 6:08 PM (permalink)
I have recently experienced Venezuelan food for the first time, at a taco wagon in Humble, TX, and at a small cafe on Houston's far SE side, Pana's Cafe. The place is run by a couple of very personable, young Venezuelans, at least one of whom is a very good cook, and has only been open a few months. After sampling the snack sized empanadas in Humble, I wanted to try their version, which is much bigger, the size of burritos.

Venezuela is unique in that they use corn meal based dough for empanadas; in fact, arepas. At Pana's, they roll the dough out thinner and larger and put in lots more filling.



The one shown is black beans and cheese. The green sauce is garlic and cilantro; the other sauce, on the right edge of the picture, is tomatoes and jalapenos. I liked the milder green sauce better. I like the snack sized empanadas I got in Humble but the fillings at Pana's are much better.

Its a tiny place with just a shelf along the wall and stools for dining. I observed them making a fantastic looking sandwich, the patacones, and it was served to the fellow sitting next to me. We struck up a conversation and managed to communicate though we spoke different languages. I understood he was born in Mexico but had lived in several Central and South American countries. He was either saying Venezuelan cuisine was the best or at least this particular sandwich is unmatched in any other cuisine. The patacones uses mashed, fried plaintains in place of bread:



I decided I had to try one. This is a wonderfully messy sandwich consisting of shredded beef or chicken, tomato, lettuce, soft cheese, onion, black beans, avocado, and garlic sauce. Very filling and it stays with you. I wasn't over-stuffed when I left the place but I wasn't hungry 8 hours later either.

Both places had hamburguesas on the menu and I discovered it's apparently standard in Venezuela that hamburgers come with ham, a la the Roy Rogers burger lamented by many Roadfooders. According to the menu, a hamburguesa Venezuelan style includes beef patties, ham, tomato, lettuces, mini-French fries, soft cheese, and pink and green garlic sauces!

Pana's has a very small menu but they told me they do a special soup every Saturday so I'm planning on another visit then to try the soup and a hamburguesa.





 
#1
    Texianjoe

    • Total Posts: 639
    • Joined: 10/15/2006
    • Location: Houston, TX
    RE: Venezuelan - empanadas y patacones Wed, 11/15/06 6:51 PM (permalink)
    Man that looks good. Where is this place? Have you tried pupusas yet?


    joe
     
    #2
      vegas

      • Total Posts: 82
      • Joined: 1/16/2004
      • Location: not vegas (SW CT)
      RE: Venezuelan - empanadas y patacones Wed, 11/15/06 6:53 PM (permalink)
      Im surprised the Sterns have'nt discovered this Venezualian gem right in their back yard Norwalk Connecticut

      http://www.valencialuncheria.com/
       
      #3
        Pwingsx

        • Total Posts: 2170
        • Joined: 5/15/2003
        • Location: Somewhere in time...and Colorado
        RE: Venezuelan - empanadas y patacones Thu, 11/16/06 12:22 AM (permalink)
        Oh, my, that sandwich looks fantastic!

        What a find!
         
        #4
          roossy90

          • Total Posts: 6695
          • Joined: 8/15/2005
          • Location: columbus, oh
          RE: Venezuelan - empanadas y patacones Thu, 11/16/06 3:29 AM (permalink)
          They both look really good.
          As long as they taste great, it really doesnt matter!
          That garlic and cilantro sauce really caught my eye though.
          I am glad you told us what it was.
          I had to go back and re read, cuz I missed it the first time.
          Looks really tasty to me.
           
          #5
            oltheimmer

            • Total Posts: 214
            • Joined: 6/25/2006
            • Location: Houston, TX
            RE: Venezuelan - empanadas y patacones Fri, 11/17/06 2:17 PM (permalink)
            quote:
            Originally posted by Texianjoe

            Man that looks good. Where is this place? Have you tried pupusas yet?


            joe

            Sorry for the delay joe, I've been real busy. No pupusas - they're Salvadoran. Might try the arepas, tho. They're like a corn cake that's split like an English muffin - see NYNM's thread in the Sandwiches forum.

            It's at 12800 Scarsdale, just about a block west of I-45, in a strip center that's next to a Dairy Queen. It's a really small place.

            I came across on the Beltway so had to go down to 1959 and haul a uie to get there.
             
            #6
              Texianjoe

              • Total Posts: 639
              • Joined: 10/15/2006
              • Location: Houston, TX
              RE: Venezuelan - empanadas y patacones Fri, 11/17/06 2:32 PM (permalink)
              I know the location. Same parking lot as Perrys' Meat Market Steakhouse. My favorit Pho restaurant is in that parking lot too.
              Thanks.

              joe
               
              #7
                PapaJoe8

                • Total Posts: 5504
                • Joined: 1/13/2006
                • Location: Dallas... DFW area
                RE: Venezuelan - empanadas y patacones Fri, 11/17/06 2:36 PM (permalink)
                Does look good Olth! I like everything I have tasted that comes from south of the Panama Cannel. Hmmm, maybe south of the Rio Grand too.

                Joe, whats a Pho?
                Joe
                 
                #8
                  xannie_01

                  • Total Posts: 1481
                  • Joined: 10/18/2005
                  • Location: albuquerque, NM
                  RE: Venezuelan - empanadas y patacones Fri, 11/17/06 2:41 PM (permalink)
                  pho is a vietnamese noodle soup.
                   
                  #9
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