Boston >Food & Dining > Orinoco
477 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA | Directions 0211842.338786 -71.075867
Tue-Wed 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm
Thu-Sat 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-11pm
Neighborhoods: South End, Shawmut
Fantastic food, good prices (it is the South End, after all) – Don't listen to the bad reviews - you'll miss out on a great meal if you do. Orinoco is a true find. The food is delicious with great variety from start to finish. My husband and I have been here several times already and have brought friends many times. One of the best aspects of the menu is that it can satisfy you if you want something light or if you're starving and in need of a hearty meal.
My favorites are the Reina Pepiada which, according to a native of the region is very authentic - a little tangy and light. I think this is the best of the arepas. I have also tried the carnitas - while the pork is well cooked, the arepa overwhelms the meat - not a good ratio of arepa to meat. Other faves for appetizers are the plaintains with cheese and bacon wrapped dates. Very decadent but oh so good!
For entrees (if you have room), try the lamb - out of this world. And, don't miss the torta fluida for dessert. It will satisfy any and every chocolate lover. Wine list is good with manageable selection of South American wines. Atmosphere is lively and the wait staff are friendly and knowledgeable enough (some more than others). There can be a long wait because this is a small restaurant and they don't take reservations. But, you are in the South End so don't be surprised.
Good food, unprofessional – The food at Orinoco is great. However, it is really disappointing when so often many things are not available- at our most recent visit, literally 4-5 things on the menu were unavailable. The limited choices mixed with irregular hours, no voicemail to let customers know what hours they are open, is unprofessional. At some point, I hope they realize this is Boston, not Latin America, or even Miami!
New to discover – I went to Orinoco last week; I have to say that it is what I expected to be after reading out all the reviews there has been in the newspapers and magazines. Arepas were great, light and tasty, and the price in the range of a restaurant of its kind, we had the tuna and the Lamb, each with flavors well blend to give the meaning of the type of cuisine they are "A Latin kitchen". The state that is not a Venezuelan restaurant but the core tendency is, I have to say that is different and worth to experience. I definitively recommend it.
Bad Bad Bad – I could not believe the service and the presentation. They were bad bad bad. We ordered some arepas and for the $7.00 that each arepa cost we were very dissapointed because there were so tiny and did not come with any side order. They were also tasteless. I will never go back there again. I talked to some friends from Venezuelan and they told me that normally arepas are served with some salad or something like that. They also found the price extremely high.
A great spot for great food – My partner and I went to Orinoco for dinner last night and got right in... The host (owner?) was very friendly and seated us at a very cramped little table. Unfortunately, the couple next to us was loud and it took the server about 10 minutes to even notice that we were there. The arepa was rather disappointing - lacking flavor or anything that made it special. The slow service and unexciting arepa were forgotten when the main dishes arrived. Wow! I adored my chicken baked in a sweet-ish pastry and my partner's delicately flavored stewed beef with black beans and rice. The flavors were so intricate and good. We'll definitely go back and hope the other little flaws were one time slips.
Gem in the South End! – This place is great - great food, good music, and friendly service. We arrived Thursday night and had to wait 1 hour for a table, but it was well worth it. The salad with bacon wrapped dates and empanadas were awesome, as were the arepas. This is a great addition to the neighborhood!
Very Good Food for a reasonable price – This place is authentic Venezuelan, from the food to the music to the drinks, I felt immersed in the culture. The food was delicious, well made, fresh and very flavorful. Try the bacon wrapped dates.
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