We were in Southwest today buying bedding for the impending visit of the amazing Ellie and we decided to partake in food cart mecca on SW 5th between Stark and Oak. After weeks of trying to visit this one particular cart, we managed to finally try the cuisine at Michelle’s Amazing Venezuelan Kitchen. The immodest moniker lived up to its name. As it was the end of the lunch scene, Michelle had run out of arepas, but made us an empanada plate with tostones, black beans and rice. We ordered a domino empanada, with black beans and cheese, and one with cheese and sweet potatoes, as well as Michelle’s last minute addition of vegan lamb. More on that later.
As Michelle made our empanadas from stratch, I babbled on and on about living in Caracas, how I missed it, had she ever heard of Escuela Campo Allegre or Valle Arriba, etc etc. She only entertained my hyperactive interest in all things Venezuelan for a few minutes before immersing herself in the preparation of our meal.
With food in hand, we parked ourselves at the adjacent seating area to feast. The food was incredible and reminded me of many meals in Caracas. Flavorful, buttery rice with sweet black beans. Tostones with a great sauce, which cut some of the richness of all the fried foods. And the empanadas were outstanding. Michelle uses samosa dough in her recipe, so they were crispy and light. The domino one was delicious as was the yam and cheese combination, though I found the vegan lamb to be odd. Stringy and too meat-like for me. Surprisingly Mao wolfed down the faux-meat without protest. And we lucked out by choosing to visit the cart right before closing as Michelle gave us heaps of extra tostones, so she wouldn’t have to throw anything away.
A second visit is needed to secure some much desired arepas, hopefully piled with queso blanco like they make them in Caracas.