Last month, Miss Yunks was invited to dine at La Casa de Pedro’s new location in Billerica, MA. La Casa de Pedro is a latin cuisine restaurant, specifically Venezuelan cuisine. Chef Pedro Alarcon created his menu from his family’s recipes that he enjoyed growing up in Venezuela. When he came to the U.S., he cooked for his friends and family. His home always had an open door, and now his restaurant is the casa with open doors. Regulars flock to La Casa de Pedro to enjoy native Venezuelan food.
Because Watertown is much more convenient for me, I visited this location instead. I was able to bring a guest so lucky BF joined me for dinner with Amelia, Pedro’s PR rep, and Pedro himself. We sat at Pedro’s table and chatted and ate for a few hours. Pedro started us with some cocktails. I chose Pedro’s Margarita, just one of the margaritas on the menu.
It was full of sweet and salty flavors with the right amount of lime, and wasn’t overpowered with tequila taste. This was a great margarita and I’d go back to Pedro’s just for this drink. And for the Piña Colada.
BF let Pedro chose his drink for him. He had work to do after dinner, so Pedro chose a virgin Piña Colada. I don’t usually like these because I don’t like coconut, but I didn’t taste coconut in this drink so it was perfect for me. It’s more like a smoothie than a traditional cocktail.
Next, Pedro ordered some appetizers.
I really loved the empanadas and arepas. The empanada was fried to a perfect crisp and the filling was indeed filling. The sweet cheese in the arepa reminded me of a cheese blintze. Arepas are a versatile dish just like blintzes; they are a great addition to brunch or to dinner.
We also shared fried plantains and yuca fries.
The plantains were battered and fried and to me taste very similar to bananas. Pedro said some people that say they hate bananas actually like plantains. The yuca fries are topped with a cilantro sauce that helps cut the natural dryness of the yuca. I really liked all of the latin appetizers we tasted. I was satisfied and decently stuffed after all of them, but the main course was still coming.
For my meal, I let Pedro chose foods for me to taste. A few dishes on the menu had caught my eye but I trusted Pedro to show me his best vegetarian options. I expected to try the Tortilla Espanola, A Spanish pie made of eggs, potatoes and sautéed onions, or Tequenos, the most popular hors d’ouevre in Venezuela, white Venezuelan cheese hand rolled in puff pastry. Instead, he brought me this.
Pedro brought me a special plate off the menu with rice, vegetables, gorgeous avocado, more fried plantains, and fresh mango. Everything on the plate was delicious and I could taste that the mango and avocado were fresh and ripe.
Although everything on my plate was tasty and I was full by the end of the meal, I wish I had tried some more traditional latin vegetarian foods. Pedro also chose BF’s entree.
BF was presented with a large amount of shredded pork, plantains, black beans, and all topped with a fried egg. BF liked the meat, but would have rather had a smaller portion of this dish along with tastes of a few other dishes.
Pedro was very generous with his menu offerings to us, dessert included.
I surprisingly also liked the coconut flan. I again couldn’t taste the coconut; it tasted very similar to the milk flan. My stomach was really full at this point but the flan was worth the effort to shove move food down there.
As our time with Pedro was ending, he insisted I try one more cocktail. I forget the flavor of this mojito, but I remember I loved it!
I had a great time hanging out with Pedro and Amelia, eating delicious Venezuelan food, and learning about Pedro’s philosophy on life and food. He believes in looking ahead in life and focusing on all of the good things, rather than looking back on all of the bad things. His passion for food is clear. He knows all of the regulars that visit his Watertown restaurant and if anyone asks for cooking advice or recipes, he’ll invite them back into the kitchen to teach them. Pedro’s new Billerica location is conveniently on the Billerica and Burlington line, close to the Burlington Mall. I feel confident you won’t be disapointed visiting either location for brunch, cocktails and appetizers, dinner, or dessert. Thanks to Pedro and Amelia for treating us to so much food and a fun evening!