ABOVE: Chef and co-owner Michael Young employs a little Don Julio Blanco for effect while cooking for the lunch rush at Valencia Luncheria in Norwalk.
VALENCIA LUNCHERIA: 172 MAIN ST., NORWALK
Yeah, I know. Too late.
I knew this was coming up after they filmed at the Main Street eatery in October, but since there is essentially zero information on the show’s website, I sort of lost track of the air date.
For some reason I thought it was to air on the 20th. Perhaps I’m confusing the inauguration of our new president with the airing of this segment; not to trivialize a historic event, or to place undue significance on a restaurant, but I had considered it sort of a big deal.
Apparently, not big enough to actually remember.
The New York Times dubs Valencia “nuevo comfort food,” others describe it as Venezuelan fast food (of a sort) but whatever you call it, it’s undeniably good. At Valencia, regulars come back for the constantly-changing specials menu, the staggeringly long list of fillings for the arepas and the fruit batidos that are sweet and creamy. It’s no wonder that it’s often difficult to find a seat in the tiny dining area.
Hopefully some of you caught this episode because Valencia is one of my favorite lunch spots in the area. Meanwhile, I’ll be on the lookout for a repeat, or at least maybe they will upload the segment to the site’s video player.
BELOW: Co-owner and champion oyster shucker Luis Chavez serves up lunch.