Valencia Luncheria, 164 Main Street, Norwalk CT www.valencialuncheria.com
Readers of Sunday Diners know that I love Valencia Luncheria and their awesome Venezuelan Beach Food – we’ve been there many times for breakfast and lunch. Valencia even won a Sunny Award for “The Best International Breakfast”. But since the place was really small and people loved it so much, if you didn’t get there early, you would have to wait for a table. So when I heard that they were moving up the street to a larger location I couldn’t wait to check it out and today I did.
The food is just as amazing as before, except in a bigger location with a bigger kitchen. Today, Chef Michael Young and his partner Luis Chavez gave me a tour of the new Valencia’s kitchen.
Compared to the old location, the new Valencia’s kitchen is HUGE! Chef Michael told me that you could fit the WHOLE old restaurant in this new kitchen and there still would be room! – That’s BIG!
He showed me some of the most important parts of the kitchen like the “plancha” which is a metal grille, the stoves, and the deep fryers where they cook the Arepas.
There is even a huge smoker machine, but Chef Michael has been so busy with the restaurant he hasn’t even had a chance to try it yet. There is also a very big ice machine… but it’s still not big enough… the new Valencia is so busy and popular that the restaurant was only open for two hours today and the ice machine was already low on ice, but no worries, Chef Michael had already brought in some ice from a store for backup. Having a bigger kitchen is also important because Chef Michael does a lot of catering for parties — yesterday he made food for 400 people who were having a taco party! THAT’S A LOT OF TACOS!
Today I had an Arepa with Eggs, Queso Blanco and Avocado — I put a lot of the green sauce on it which called Guasacaca. It was really good. I also had some Chorizo which was smoky tasting – YUM! One of my favorite things at Valencia are the Batidos – which are like smoothies – I had Blueberry and my dad had Banana – I tried both and they were excellent, but I still like Chocolate Batidos the best. My mom came too and she had an Arepa with Eggs, Cheese and Chorizo – and she loved it!
He said, “If I had to pick one thing, I would say “The Media Noche”, which is a Pressed Wrap of Turkey, Plantains, Bacon, Grilled Onions and Mozzarella!”
He also told me that “Media Noche is Spanish for Midnight” — and that this is a “Perfect midnight snack”!
One thing that is missing from the old Valencia is Guy Fieri’s autograph from when he came to film Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but Chef Michael told me not to worry as they’re trying to figure how to move it to the new place…maybe Guy should just come back for another visit!
The Sunday Diner Rating (Out of CINCO)
FOOD * * * * * (CINCO)
SERVICE * * * * * (CINCO)
LOOKS * * * * * (CINCO)
BATHROOM: ¡YO NO FUI!
Thanks again Chef Michael and Mr Chavez!