Any time I go out with one of my friends, I know that I am in for a treat.
When she picked me up, I knew that it was going to be an interesting day. “Oh girl, you have to sit in the back because the front door doesn’t open.” Oh okay. No biggie.
Off we go on our journey except for a quick U-turn because I accidentally left my phone at home. We drive towards the highway, but now we have to improvise because I can only seem to find the way that takes us toward Center City. Not the way she needs to go. “We probably should have taken the street,” I think.
My friend is going back to college to finish her Nursing degree so I wanted to do something before she moved back to Pittsburgh. Because she is adventurous and likes to try different ethnic cuisines, we decided on Venezuelan spot that I saw on the food show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
As we walk into the restaurant we almost bump into a smiling couple who are leaving. Smiles. “That’s a good sign,” I think. There are just two other women in the restaurant eating and sipping on wine.
We sit at our table taken back by the charm of the restaurant. The Venezuelan flag hangs on the wall to the left of us. Handcrafted molds of homes is on the back wall to the right of us. The place isfilled with artwork that accentuates the color of the Venezuelan flag: yellow, red, and blue. We agreed that we would have both driven right by this place because of the location.
I order the La Selva Arepa, which is like a vegetarian-stuffed flatbread made of ground corn flour, with brown rice. She orders the Reina Pepiada Arepa, a mixture of avocado, mayo, and chicken with fried Yucca on the side.
The food is good, but different. I like the creaminess of her arepa eventhough I am not a huge avocado fan. Mine is a stack of vegetables like onion, green pepper, eggplant, tomato, and mushroom because I am still doing the meatless challenge. It has pesto on it, but I wished they would have put a little bit more so that I could actually taste it.
The lovely waitress hands us boxes to pack up our food before handing us the check. We both grab for it scaring the crap out of her. I lost so I gave the tip.
As we began to walk out the door we see a case of handmade chocolate balls. We learn that the owners make them from the actual cacao bean and they cost $2.50 a piece. My friend is a little shocked and I can tell that she is not really all that interested in the chocolate for the price. I was shocked too and probably could have done without having something sweet, but I ordered two “morenas,” which were made with milk chocolate and crushed hazelnut as I shrug and say “you only live once.”