Loading...
Judge not lest ye be judged" is a foundation of faith. However, I have never met anyone who did not judge. Is it even...

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

June 24, 2019

St. Peter Catholic School teams recently finished among the top schools at the NC FIRST Lego League State Championships in Greensboro

Wiredcats Green team finished fifth out of 60 teams in the robot game, and the Wiredcats Blue team finished 14th. Wiredcats Green's score of 171 was the seventh…

021819rcpeter

June 24, 2019

Fifty years ago, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and the gaze of the world landed on the Moon.

Fifty years ago, that Moon was six feet closer to the Earth than it is today.

Every year, in fact, the Moon retreats from Earth by 1.5 inches, as a spinoff of gravity. Gravity pulls on both the Moon and…

moses

June 23, 2019

I know there will be some of you who will say, “Bob Garner ought to stick with exclaiming ‘Mmm-mmm’ over his food and stay the heck out of politics.”

Believe me, I get that, and generally I agree. One of the things I love about being a foodie is that food can often help…

Bob Garner.jpg

June 19, 2019

It is no secret that health care communication can be incredibly complex. This is especially so for patients who experience language and cultural barriers.

Luckily, there is a group of specially-trained Vidant Health Language Access Service interpreters who offer a voice to patients in-need, 24/7.…

5d08fa61e075c.image.jpg

June 19, 2019

Q I saw a story in a cooking magazine with the headline, “yes ultra-processed foods could be killing you.” What are ultra-processed foods and is that a true statement? CC, Winterville

A I have said in this column, in talks, when counseling patients and when feeding family and friends,…

Kolasa, Kathy

June 16, 2019

Even though I’ve spent a significant portion of my adult life working in TV, I was often too busy to actually watch much of it, or at least to pay much attention to the commercials.

Now that I’m semi-retired and am watching more television, mostly on cable news channels, I’m…

Bob Garner.jpg

June 14, 2019

In many ways, theater is like a spelling bee. Those preparing to take the stage spend weeks practicing and memorizing, hoping they won't get tripped up by a word when they get their moment in the spotlight.

Perhaps nowhere is this parallel more evident than in “The 25th Annual Putnam County…

bee

June 12, 2019

Q My doctor told me to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. Can you give me any tips? MM, Winterville

A I hope your doctor gave your more information about your dietary goals since you won’t find that title in the diet manual used by health care professionals.

Most registered dietitian…

Kolasa, Kathy

June 12, 2019

One of my favorite summertime activities is attending cookouts. They have a myriad of tasty food from grilled meats, salads, desserts, and all the other fixings we associate with this event. One of my favorite things to serve at a cookout is seafood in any form from grilled, marinated to fried.

If…

The whiting sandwich from 42 Fry.

June 09, 2019

Having experienced deep depression firsthand, I now feel a sense of kinship with others who have struggled to overcome the same condition and still battle regularly to remain mentally healthy

As someone who’s in the public eye in a very minor way, it encourages me to know about far more…

Bob Garner.jpg
201 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 21
        Next Page»   Last Page»