The Philadelphia season of Dining on a Dime has been cruising through cuisines like Indonesian and Italian so far, and next up is Venezuelan. Host Lucas Peterson heads to Philly’s Society Hill neighborhood — an upscale residential area where one narrow street plays host to Puyero Venezuelan Flavor, a casual restaurant offering arepas, patacons, mandocas, and more.
Puyero’s owners are all Venezuelan-raised, and as Peterson learns, keen on doing things their own way. Venezuelan flavors are characterized by their influences from indigenous and West Indies traditions, with staples like rice, corn, and plantains, the latter which Puyero uses in nearly all of its dishes. Two smashed and fried plantains replace bread in a patacon, a sandwich resembling the jibarito, that balances its salty fillings with a sweet, caramelized banana flavor. “I would eat this all the time,” as Peterson puts it.