Falls Church Dinnanigans (Pt. 2)
As referenced in the previous post, we were able to get reservations to dine at La Caraqueña the day after our Jaunt to Koi Koi and Mad Fox Brewing Company. Our merry band was smaller, but we were sure hungry after the second full day of helping out at the academic competition.
We were greeted by a friendly lady with long hair; she helped us out most of the rest of the night. The restaurant was neither a drive in nor a dive (OK …one can probably call the motel behind it a dive); it had a intimate, homelike feel…more like a small diner when we expand “Triple D”, just with food from a specific part of the world.
Dork, Kechara, and Byko had fried yucca as an appetizer. I saw the yucca presented two ways: On Dork’s: on a plate with two salsas….
Byko’s and Kechara’s came in a little basket… so cute! I had a little of Dork’s; The yucca was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Kechara also had the peanut soup with rice… it looked really creamy!
The Notorious ETC has to order early as he had to be somewhere by a certain time. He ordered the El Sabroso Sandwich, which had thin grilled chicken, fresh avocado, and gouda in its wheat berry crown roll. Both his and my sandwich were so large that it was served with a steak knife through the middle of it to stabilize the stack (not pictured).
I had the Diputado, with seasoned thin sirloin slices, sauteed onion, fried egg, and tomato between its bread…
I would not be wanting for protein that night… Here’s the Diputado from another angle.
Dork and Joppatownie had two of the Arepas, which are placed in between grilled or fried cornmeal bread. Popular in Colombia and Venezuela and La Caraqueña’s signature dish, Guy Fieri made one with a chicken-salad based filling on Triple D.
Dork’s fried cornmeal bread was filled with pulled beef and yellow cheese.
Joppatownie had her cornmeal bread grilled. It was filled with white cheese and black beans.
We didn’t skip dessert that night! Note: the images are a little yellowed and grainy due to use of low light settings on my point-and-shoot. I refuse to flash my food…
Unfortunately, they ran put of a dessert some of us wanted to try: the Arroz con Leche, a Latin American-style rice pudding. Those of us indulging in dessert ended up getting one of two things instead: the Quesillo Borracho, a custard, or the Quatro Leches, a cake made with four different milks.
I got an order of the Quesillo Borracho; in this picture, the custard looks rather spongy even with the dim light settings. It was sweet, but not too sweet, and was rather firm compared to the custards I’m more accustomed to (Crème Brûlée and Leche Flan). This is not to say I didn’t enjoy it, but I definitely prefer a smoother texture overall.
The presentation in both desserts still shines through the off-kilter white balance. The friends that had the Quatro Leches said that they had enjoyed it; it definitely looked delicious and moist.
Some complain that service and food at a given establishment gets worse after a celebrity (chef or otherwise) visits. I felt this wasn’t so for my visit… the Diputado was very flavorful and had enough in it to feed an army. Hey, did I mention how hungry I was? The lady who greeted us also served us. She was happy to explain unfamiliar parts of the menu and brought candles to the table and lit them as the night progressed. Ultimately one felt like they were at home — A home with small booths and tables, but at home.
Word to the wise: Most of the booths/tables hold 2-4 people. The restaurant had to join some of those together to accommodate us (Yep… It was definitely cozy!). Make sure to call ahead for sure if you have a large-ish party. Heck… even if you don’t have a large-ish party, you may be turned away if you don’t make a reservation.