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Puyero in Queen Village Hopes to Fill Philly’s Venezuelan Void

Bring on the street-eats

Puyero’s colorful interior

Queen Village, so full of new restaurants in 2016, is getting another next month: Puyero, a casual Venezuelan eatery.

Brothers Gil and Simon Arends, plus Gil’s wife Manuela, will bring a taste of home (they hail from Maracaibo) to 524 South 4th Street with Venezuelan street food specialties like arepas, nine different kinds, stuffed with traditional fillings — chicken and avocado, shredded beef and plantain — and other cheffy combinations. Elsewhere on the table: patacones (sandwiches that swap smashed fried plantains for bread), pan con queso, stuffed corn flour pancakes called cachapas, and tequeños, deep-fried pastries stuffed with salty cheese. Wash them down with fresh papelón con limón (sugarcane juice mixed with lemon) and tamarind juice, plus all sorts of homemade sauces and dips — “Venezuelans love sauces,” Gil told Eater. Everything on the menu should be priced between $7-$10.

Currently, Spring Garden’s Sazon is Philly’s “first and only” distinctively Venezuelan restaurant, and, really, the cuisine deserves way more representation in this city, so Puyero's purpose is twofold: "It's not just a place where we can share our food, but a place where we can share our identity, our story, and connect with people as Venezuelans."

Hours will be evenings-only during the week and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. Once they’re all settled in, look for those hours to expand. Puyero is expected to open the first two weeks in December.