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Viva Venezuela

J wanted something “interesting” to eat on friday night, so that’s how we ended up at Sazon. Usually, friday night involves deciding which pho place to go to on washington ave, as it’s easy, close, cheap, filling, etc. But sometimes, we go buck wild crazy.
Sazon is an adorable little venezuelan restaurant on Spring Garden, near the spaghetti warehouse. It’s not the nicest location in the world. But once you’re insice, it feels positively south american. A husband and wife own the place, he works the tables, she cooks the food. J got a cafe con leche. Loved it.

For a starter, we got sweet plantains with queso blanco. I love me some sweet plantains. This should come as a side with every meal I ever have.
J got the arroz con pollo, good ol rice and chicken. Beans were great, so was the rice, as were the plantains, but the chicken was a bit on the dry and bland side. It seemed like they cut the chicken into too big chunks, cooked it separately, and then threw them into the rice. So it was dry and didn’t have enough of the same flavor that was infused into the rice. A bummer really.

I was continuing my non-beef kick, so I got an arepa, of the reina pepiada variety, which was shredded chicken with avocado and mayo. Basically, a glorified chicken salad with avocados in the mix. Excellent sandwich. The chicken here was not bland or dry and now I wish all chicken salads to be made with avocados. There’s a little bit too much filling on this sandwich, no? There’s actually no way to eat it like a sandwich. You have to fork it. Service is good. This is a BYOB. There was a nice mix of people here and they also have excellent looking desserts, including a wide variety of truffles. If you’re up for a food adventure off the beaten path, go for a ride to Spring Garden and try out some food, south american style. For you veggies, there are plenty of vegetarian options for you as well.

Sazon Restaurant & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Viva Venezuelan!

While at Marra’s, L and E let me know about a Venezuelan restaurant on 9th and Spring Garden. I thought to myself, there’s a restaurant there? Why? Then I thought there’s a venezuelan restaurant there? What is that? So we arranged to find out! So we headed out to Sazon.
So yes, it is in a quite unfortunate location. There’s nothing there but a Thai restaurant and the Spaghetti Warehouse across the street, along with a smattering of mexican bodegas. Fortunately, there’s plenty of free street parking available. It is on the corner, and very comfortable. It’s not tiny, but not very big either. There’s some booths and there’s some tables. It’s very colorful and not at all pretentious. There’s some ethnic art on the walls and some non-intrusive music playing. The place is run by a husband and wife team. The husband is the host/waiter and the wife is the chef. She always brings out the food to you when she’s done cooking it. They’re pretty damn adorable.

We started with some appetizers and some fruit drinks. I went with the passion fruit. I have a soft spot for passion fruit. I drank tons of it when I was in brazil. Have you ever seen a passion fruit? They’re so bizzarre and other worldly looking. I love them. We had the sazon sampler, which is an appetizer sampler which includes arepas, empanadas, and taquenos. It was all good. The taquenos were like mozzarella sticks, only much much better. We also got the sweet plantains, which I also love, and the garlic plantains. Although they were both plantain dishes, they were completely different, in taste and texture. The sweet plantains were soft and sweet, the garlic plantains were crunchy and savory.

On to the main courses! Half of us ordered the asado negro, including myself, which was a slow roasted beef roast cooked until pretty much black in color. It was served with white rice and sweet plantains. We all loved it. It looks a slight bit appetizing but it was really quite the opposite. It was delicious. It is sweet, so for those of you that don’t like sweet meats, you’ll want to skip this dish. But for normal people, haha, this was great.

There were a few sandwiches ordered also. I tasted a bit of the pepito, or “Venezuelan cheesesteak”. It was great! It came on a really crunchy ciabatta roll and had grilled steak, cheese, onions, and red pepper. I like regular philly cheesesteaks for sure, but this one was very good, even though obviously completely different. D got the pernit, which was a pulled pork sandwich that also looked great. He ate it up! G go the arroz con pollo, which is chicken and rice. And C got a couple of arepa sandwiches. She thought they would be small, but in fact, they were both huge. She got one with chicken and one with tofu, but strangely enough, both the fillings looked quite similar.

All in all, I am a big fan of Sazon and venezuelan food in general. The service was also fairly good, considering it’s so family run. On a sunday night it wasn’t packed, but there was definitely a flurry of activity with diners coming in and out. It’s also BYOB so it is very affordable. Prices in general are quite reasonable. I’ll definitely be going back!

Sazon Restaurant & Cafe on Urbanspoon

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