If I told you a tattoo artist opened two restaurants in the same city, you might think I was trying to set up a joke. It’s no joke, and it’s not even that farfetched if you talk to Javier Eastman, who just opened Avenida Venezuelan Food and La Calle Arepas Bar in Norwalk.
So, how does a tattoo artist with almost 25,000 Instagram followers get into the food service industry?
For Eastman, it started when he came to Norwalk by way of Venezuela 17 years ago with dreams of being an artist. Eventually, Eastman got into a profession where he could express himself artistically, and he learned the ropes of tattooing.
With a successful tattoo business, Eastman was able to save enough to make his restaurant dream a reality. It all resulted in Avenida—on Connecticut Avenue in the former Bagelz/Universal Subs space—and La Calle at 74 North Main Street in SoNo, where Prime Burger used to be.
At Avenida, you can expect an array of empanadas, 16 different stuffed arepas, pastelitos (small savory turnovers filled with meat, cheese, or both), traditional Venezuelan breakfast plates, and a few larger dishes like Pabellón Criollo, Venezuela’s national dish, comprised of shredded beef, rice & beans, fried sweet plantains, egg, avocado, and cheese. Additionally, there are patacón sandwiches (beef, chicken, or pork between deep-fried plantain slices), burgers, and Venezuelan-style hot dogs topped with shredded carrots, cabbage, ham, salsa, cheese, and crushed potato sticks.
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