Loading...
BYH, Trump said on Howard Stern's show before he was elected that he used to go backstage at teen pageants and ogle the...

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

April 24, 2019

When it comes to healthy eating, looking for nutrient-rich foods to include in your diet is one of the more important goals. However, when warmer weather is in full swing, it may be tricky to incorporate nourishing foods that are versatile enough for grilling season.

For a keto- and paleo-friendly…

686270804

April 24, 2019

 

With warmer days on the way, chilled soups are a bright and refreshing alternative to a steaming bowl of soup. And while cool soups are certainly a solution to the heat of summer, they are also delicious year-round.

In fact, the slightly chilled temperature often amplifies the flavor and…

Chilled Pea Soup With Creme Fraiche, Lemon and Tarragon

April 24, 2019

As the flames rushed through Notre Dame Cathedral's wooden rafters — each beam cut from an individual oak — a squad of firefighters began a strategic mission.

Their leader was Father Jean-Marc Fournier, chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade. The goal was to save a crown of thorns that…

APTOPIX France Notre Dame Fire-1

April 24, 2019

DEAR HARRIETTE: My brother and I live together in a two-apartment house. I like our arrangement. Even though we are both adults, we are young, and it feels safer having him around. He has a dog — a puppy, really — that he got about a year ago. Because my brother is still in school and…

Harriette Cole

April 24, 2019

It is no secret that head and neck cancers, like any type of cancer, can be best treated with early detection.

But early detection can be tough to achieve due to lack of transportation, finances or other resources.

Now, local health care partnerships are making early detection and education key…

HeadNeck2.jpg

April 24, 2019

Q: My daughter was recently diagnosed with PCOS. She is of normal weight, so we were surprised. Does what she eats make a difference? — MEM, Winterville

A: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition caused by hormone imbalances in a woman’s body and although it is often associated…

Kolasa, Kathy

April 21, 2019

During my middle school years, my parents always used to invite my mother’s eccentric Uncle Bill to our house for Sunday dinner on Easter and other holidays. I don’t remember much of anything about Uncle Bill — except that he somehow managed to find ways to embarrass me in front…

Bob Garner

April 21, 2019

The refrigerator beeps if I accidentally leave the door open, which I do a lot, but it's a different beep than the one the dishwasher makes to tell me it has finished putting spots on my glasses.

Do I really have to know when the dishwasher is finished with its spotting cycle? Besides, when the…

JimMullen

April 21, 2019

It’s a one-way journey for helium, but a round trip for the ant-watchers.

Every day, a worldwide fleet of 1,800 balloons launches into the atmosphere for the sake of weather science and data reliance.

It’s a daily space race.

In this era of drones and rocket ships, balloons filled with…

joy moses-Hall.jpg

April 21, 2019

I surrender.

In wartime these words admit defeat and put the speaker in the custody of an adversary. They do not usually gain admiration.

Instead, we celebrate the advice popularly attributed to Winston Churchill: “Never give up. Never, never, never give up.”

We admire the single word…

DGMartin.jpg
178 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 18
        Next Page»   Last Page»