If you’ve never had the pleasure of trying Venezuelan cuisine, then you are surely missing out. One of the great things about being in cities or in close proximity to cities is the wealth and abundance of food options you have at your fingertips. I like to go to Atlanta each summer to visit close friends of mine, and when I go, we usually stay at their home in a smaller town called Woodstock, which sits about an hour outside of the city of Atlanta itself.
I like to think of the smaller communities surrounding cities as the great hubs of choice and cultural variance when it comes to restaurants and food stands and trucks. And Woodstock is no exception to this. One of the best places I’ve had food in the city of Atlanta is actually outside of the city in Woodstock, a small town built by planned communities and neighborhoods with a railroad running through the center of the town square. The real gem for food, though, is actually just a small little food shop set adjacent to a gas station.
It’s playfully called Cylantros, and they serve fresh and authentic Venezuelan specialty food at an affordable price. And with the warm sunshine-y weather of Georgia, the picnic tables outside make the perfect warm and casual spot to stop and eat your food while traffic bustles by. There is of course a lot to choose from in terms of food, but what most people will agree that the arepas are their featured menu item.
Arepas are deliciously prepared sandwich-esque food items that contain various ingredients, like specialty sauces, beans, chicken, beef, or other food ingredients signature to Venezuelan menus. In a sense, the arepas are kind of similar to empanadas and tacos both. The thing that sets them apart, though, is that their bread, if you will, is made of hand-made corn flour tortilla-esque patties that are round and hold the ingredients in between.
This gives the arepas a crisp and golden texture and look, and they’re delicious. When I went to Cylantros, I tried one of the favorites on their menu – an arepa filled with chicken, cilantro, and a creamy green avocado sauce. It’s the perfect combination of crispness, moistness, and tangy-fresh cilantro taste. And there are many great choices like this at Cylantros. Situated in an under the radar location, and just obscure enough to not be swamped all the time, this small food restaurant is the best place to try out Venezuelan food, or even arepas, for the first time.
So, the next time you find yourself looking for something new and exciting to try out in the world of food, and you happen to be in the south, consider avoiding the hectic nature of the city itself and travel a little further to Woodstock, Georgia, and try out Cylantros Venezuelan Cuisine. It’s bound to surprise you in the quality of food, casual and inviting atmosphere, as well as the reasonable prices offered.
Author: Hannah Wyatt