Saturday, June 4, 2011

Venezolano Restaurante Andinitas

Address: 4139 S 1785 W, Taylorsville, UT 84119. 801.966.9097.

Review: Let's get one thing straight upfront: when you're looking for Venezolano Restaurante Andinitas, look simply for Andinitas; it's what's on the sign.

There are relatively few times you go to a restaurant and find something that makes you think, "Holy crap. That's a brilliant idea." My experience at Andinitas was one of those times.

Andinitas is a Venezuelan restaurant with about eight tables. The menu is comprised of about the same six meats prepared in different ways. I had an arepa pabellon. Arepas are sandwiches that use fried or grilled corn cakes as the bread component.

The pabellon arepa was filled with shredded beef, fried sweet plantains, black beans, and cheese.

As with any sandwich, it all starts with the bread (or corn cake, as it were). This one was lighter than a ho cake (which is the closest comparison to an American food I can make), but not nearly as light as wheat bread. Its density helped it stand up well the the decidedly heavy filling. The shredded beef was tasty and juicy. The beans were okay, but didn't add a lot of flavor. The plantains added an unexpected sweetness. But what made this arepa was the avocado crema. It brought all the flavors together and lightened the arepa ever so slightly. Quite good.

And now, the main attraction: the patacon.

As you can see, a patacon is a sandwich that utilizes fried plantains instead of bread. This patacon came filled with ham, cheese, lettuce, avocado, onions, and tomatoes. This dish is the one I was referring to earlier. (You remember, the "holy crap" part above.) It's so simple, and yet so ingenuous. The fried plantains are sweet and work wondrously well with the ham. The lettuce adds a crispy component, and the vegetables add needed lightness and acid. Everything went together perfectly. Fried plantain sandwich!? Who'da thunk it? Anyway, I could have ordered another on the spot if my wife would have let me. But alas, I will have to wait for the next go 'round with the patacon, which will be soon.

Rating: 7.5/10 (5/10 is average).

P.S.: Mad props to SLC Cheap Eats for first reviewing Andinitas. Those guys find some good restaurants.

Venezolano Restaurante Andinitas on Urbanspoon


  1. We just went back and tried the pollo patacon. Even more delicious than the ham and cheese.