Loading...
Our family member was at VMC for cirrhosis at 67. They decided to just give up and send him home with...

Bob Garner: Villa Verde offers colorful, diverse menu

030718villaverde
1 of 3

Villa Verde's Seafood Paella.

Bob Garner
Loading…

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Yordanys (“Jay”) and Eribania Bastardo achieved major success during a year of operating their Dominican food truck in downtown Greenville, thanks to extraordinary support from ECU students. When the couple added a bricks-and-mortar location in August 2015, the menu expanded significantly. Yet the “nachos-tacos-sandwiches” vibe that had set off a virtual Twitterstorm among their food truck fans was happily preserved. Win-win.

It will require quite a few visits to sample all the well-executed meat, poultry and seafood dishes representing cuisine from not only the Dominican Republic but also Puerto Rico, Cuba and, indeed, all Latin America.

Across the board, the restaurant’s deft seasoning tends toward mild rather than spicy. There is a delicious house-made hot sauce for the adventurous, but it’s ordered purely by choice.

Appetizers include several sampler platters, Empanadas and Queso Frito (fried cheese), but both Yaroa (pronounced “Jah-ro-ah”) and 3-pound Nachos are the most representative of Villa Verde’s popular food truck fare. With a foundation of either French fries or tortilla chips, both are similarly and appetizingly topped with Dominican-seasoned meat strips, peppers and onions and cheese sauce.

Among the house specialties, seafood paella is particularly attractive and appealing. Other solid, authentic seafood choices include whole red snapper with traditional Dominican seasoning, grouper and Caribbean-style shrimp. You can read about and consider trying Mofongo (mashed green plantains and garlic) and Chivo (stewed goat): both are terrific in my book.

Entrees represent multiple variations on a typical Dominican midday meal of red beans, rice and some type of meat or poultry. This repast is as commonplace as the patriotic fervor of the Dominican Republic’s citizens and engenders the same warm feelings — so much so that the meal is often referred to as La Bandera … the flag.

On Villa Verde’s menu, bone-in chicken is available marinated in spices and slow-roasted or crispy fried without breading. Pork comes to the table in delectable, deep-fried cubes, as grilled pork chops or, most notably, slow-roasted until it’s falling apart. Steak is marinated, sliced thin and grilled with bell peppers and onions. In my view, there isn’t a weak spot in this region of the menu, with the perfectly seasoned red beans and rice tying each of these dishes together beautifully.

Hint: If the fantastic, addictive pickled onions aren’t included with whatever you’re ordering, seriously consider asking for them to be added.

You should take particular note of the signature Dominican Avocado Salad, featuring house-made dressing … a blend of rainbow kale, red cabbage, shaved carrots and fresh avocado that’s admirably finished with chicken, shrimp, grouper or salmon.

Be sure to order the Cuban sandwich, featuring roast pork, at some point: it’s by far Villa Verde’s best seller. This roast is ordinarily served sliced, but Villa- Verde’s version is pulled pork at its succulent, flavorful best.

Over time, as you explore the array of choices at Villa Verde, you’ll probably also pick up on Jay and Eribania’s community involvement and outreach in addition to the business end of things. It’s practically as diverse as their menu.

Villa Verde

2601 E. 10th Street

11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed Sunday

689-6005

Bob Garner is a UNC-TV restaurant reviewer, freelance food writer, author of four cookbooks, barbecue pit master and public speaker.

A Villa Verde Sampling... from Bob Garner on Vimeo.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

August 15, 2018

The Leroy James Farmers Market Vendor of the Week is Smith Produce.

The farm is owned and operated by Jerry Smith and his daughter Cassandra. Rashaun, Jerry’s grandson, also helps with the family business. Smith Produce Farm is located in Blounts Creek in Beaufort County. Jerry, 82, has been…

081518vendor

August 15, 2018

If you’re looking for new place to hang your hungry hat, then I have the place for you. Newk’s Eatery just opened at 516 S.E. Greenville Blvd., and it’s fantastic!

Every meal is made-to-order in an open-view kitchen. The diverse menu offers toasted sandwiches with flame-grilled…

081518hotdish

August 15, 2018

Q: I had a heart attack recently, and my health care provider is trying to get me to go vegan. I never paid much attention to my diet, but I am willing to try to make some changes. I might be able to be a lacto-ovo vegetarian, but I don’t see myself giving up dairy products. I love milk,…

KathyKolasa

August 15, 2018

Q I would like to hear your thoughts on what happened with a girl I was dating for two months. We went on dates every weekend, where I also stayed at her place. We texted each other during the week. On our last date, she said I don’t text enough and that she had started to chat with someone…

Carolyn Hax

August 15, 2018

Late summer reaps bushels of peppers in a kaleidoscope of colors and a crooked assortment of wiggly shapes. I shop with my eyes, because the first thing I do when I get home is pile my peppers into a bowl, where they do double duty as a decorative centerpiece on the kitchen table before they are…

LyndaBalslev

August 13, 2018

Library events

Sheppard Memorial Library, 530 Evans St., will host the following events. Call Call 329-458.

■ Movie matinee, 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

■ Board games family program, 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

■ Bedtime story hour, 7 p.m. Thursday.

■ Baby and Me Story Hour, ages 18 months and younger,…

August 13, 2018

Pitt County Schools

Pitt County Schools' first day of school is Aug. 27. An open house will be held Aug. 23.

The schedule for open house is:

Elementary schools, 4-6:30 p.m.

K-8 schools and middle schools, 5-7:30 p.m.

High schools, 6-8:30 p.m.

St. Peter

A pre-kindergarten and kindergarten open house…

August 13, 2018

Several Pitt County 4-Her’s were among students honored during last month's State 4-H Congress in Raleigh.

This year’s 4-H Congress had more than 500 youth and their adult leaders participating in activities including oral presentations, leadership and citizenship workshops, state and…

081318rc4h

August 13, 2018

Chicod School’s Fiona Hollard was recognized by the Pitt County Board of Education at its Aug. 6 meeting for her selection to the Junior Eastern Regional Orchestra.

This is the highest honor for middle school orchestra, Daniel Walker, Chicod’s band and orchestra director, told the…

0808-SchBrd1.JPG

August 12, 2018

Q I am stepfather to my wife’s only child, age 8, from her first marriage. My wife always and in every way puts her son before our marriage. We went through counseling several years ago and things got better for a while, but then began slipping back into child-comes-first mode. Believe me, we…

JohnRosemondGDR_177.jpg
265 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 27
        Next Page»   Last Page»