This Week in Food #3: This week I am in Caracas, Venezuela, where I was born and where I have spent 75% of my life. I visited some of my favorite spots, like the Lebanese Club (one of the best lebanese restaurants I have ever been too), the Aranjuez steakhouse (my favorite), the Mokambo Cafe where we had a great brunch filled with Venezuelan staples and Avila Tei, the best Japanese in town. Most of the things I ate were not “new” to me (except for the beef tongue I had at Avila Tei) but there were indeed “Great”.
First and almost as a ritual whenever I come back here, a visit to the Aranjuez for a Ribeye with watercress caesar salad. Caracas is famous for its steakhouses, and the best include Alazan, Maute Grill, Hereford Grill, Aranjuez, Bellevue. Aranjuez is my favorite, a classic in town. And their ribeye is one of the best I have ever had. It is typical here to have caesar salad with watercress instead of lettuce, and they are a combination made in heaven.
My next must stop when I arrive in Caracas is a visit to the Lebanese Club. I have been to lebanese/arab restaurants in Miami, New York, Madrid, Paris, London, and nowhere have I had the raw kibbe I have here. It has been done by the same lady (Maria) for over 20 years, and it is one of my favorite things to eat in the world. Absolutely love it. Why do you think there’s no picture? That’s right, no time! I will definitely go back this week so will be more patient and take it….
Over the weekend we went for a family brunch at Mokambo, a popular Cafe offering a mix of international and local cuisine. Fortunately their brunch has a heavy influence on the local/typical Venezuela dishes and items so we had a chance to reconnect with the local cuisine through a feast of Arepas, Empanadas, Perico (scrambled eggs with tomato and onion), Telita cheese, black beans and buttermilk. The highlight where the “sweet” arepas, typical of the Andean region of Venezuela and ones that include Anise seed in them. Delicious.
A new to me from the visit to Avila Tei, to my mind the best Japanese in town was the beef tongue. We also ordered sweet chilli shrimp, a roll that include sweet plantain, roast pork, and egg custards. But the new item and highlight was the tongue, juicy and well accompanied by a spicy acidic dipping sauce.
I’m still here this week so look out for more items from Caracas on the next issue!