April 10, 2011

Guayoyo: Savory dishes from Venezuela

A few months ago I was hanging out in the Lower East Side when I came across a new Venezuelan restaurant, Guayoyo.  So this week when I spun the globe to see what tasty cuisine I'd be exploring and it landed on Venezuela, I knew exactly where to go.  There are plenty of Venezuelan restaurants in NYC (all offer very similar dishes), but what I like about Guayoyo is their service.  The staff here is incredibly attentive and they go out of their way to make sure you have an enjoyable experience.

Immediately after I sat down the waiter brought over a plate of plantain chips with a very spicy black bean dip.  I have to be honest I’m not crazy about beans so when I got this I was a bit hesitant to dip the plantain chips in the bean dip, but once I did I couldn’t stop, it was that good. 
Plantain chips with Black Bean Dip (also Garlic & Jalapeño sauces for Arepa)
I ordered a Queso Guayanés & Avocado arepa.  Arepas are corn flour patties that are stuffed with all sorts of items from meats, vegetables, etc.  I kept my arepa simple, avocado and cheese. The Queso Guayanés is a white cheese from the Southeastern part of Venezuela; it tastes like mozzarella cheese, just a little saltier.  This arepa doesn’t really have much personality but they serve it with two different sauces, a garlic sauce and a jalapeño sauce.  I prefer the garlic sauce so I added it to my arepa and that gave it all the personality it needs. LOL
Avocado & Queso Guayanés Arepa
For the main entree I asked for a traditional Venezuelan dish, the waiter recommended Asado negro so I decided to go with that one.  This is a beautiful dish, I like when my food looks pretty.  The Asado negro is a Venezuelan roast beef made with garlic, onions, peppers, sugar, soy sauce and some other tasty ingredients.  The beef was super tender and flavorful.  The plantains were sweet, as expected.  I didn’t eat the rice/beans cause I wanted to leave room for dessert.
Asado Negro
The waiter gave me another fabulous recommendation for dessert; he suggested I try the Bienmesabe.  The literal translation of “Bienmesabe” is “It tastes good to me”. It’s a sponge cake with a coconut cream filling, a meringue topping with a little bit of cinnamon. This is a moist cake and it really does taste good, actually it’s REALLY good.
My food adventure at Guayoyo was wonderful and very filling.  I hope you indulge in some Venezuelan treats, whether at Guayoyo or at your preferred Venezuelan restaurant.  Buen Provecho!

67 First Avenue (at 4th Street)
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212.979.6646
Closest Subway Stop: 2nd Ave (F)