Monday, August 23, 2010

Review of Taryn's: The Panyol Place

A plate of pulled beef with white rice and black beans, fried plantain and avocado pear.

A couple of months ago, Richard brought some arepas home for me to try. They weren't what I was accustomed to: these were round instead of crescent shaped, and the corn patty had been sliced open and filled with various things. Then my friend, Chris, mentioned it to me. He said they served proper milky coffee and real rice and beans from Venezuela. So I decided to give it a try myself.

Taryn's has a fairly unprepossessing facade on Mucarapo Road (opposite Hotte Shoppe and next to Creole Cuisine), which is a shame, because it means that if you're walking along the street, you're likely to pass it straight (as I have been doing for several years now). But, if you make it through the door, you'll be pleasantly surprised. It's a bright eating spot, decorated unpretentiously with bits of Venezuelan bric-a-brac and a handful of dining tables, which are generally decorated with little vases of fresh-cut flowers (score big points from me!).

Taryn's serves a variety of simple South American eats including empanadas, arepas, rice and beans, fried plantain, pulled beef and flan (the ubiquitous creme caramelesque desert). The first time I went, I ordered coffee and an arepa with crispy pork. The arepa was made out of white corn - it was firm and creamy, and the crispy pork wasn't bad at all - a little dry, but tasty none-the-less. Of course, what made me very happy were the two thin slices of avocado pear Taryn added! Yum! And Chris was right - the coffee was great - fresh, strong and milky (far superior to, say, Rituals).

Taryn herself was a delight. It seemed to me that this was her passion - that she enjoyed looking after people and feeding them. She greeted everyone with a smile of welcome which was very endearing.

I've been back to the Panyol Place a couple of times now - each time I've tried something different, and been generally pleased with the results. I do have a few critiques, though. When Taryn is not there, the service doesn't match up. The rest of the staff aren't as warm or friendly and it can take much longer to be served. I also find the price point generally on the high side. When I consider that the dining experience is not too far off what pertains at the Breakfast Shed, I'd say you pay at least $15 more per plate at Taryn's. For example, my lunch of rice and black beans, pulled beef, fried plantain and avocado was $60, when a similar lunch would have been $45 at the Breakfast Shed.

But I'd definitely go back - if for the coffee alone.


  1. I love their pan de jamon. They only make it at Christmas time. I blogged about it here It's quite good.

  2. Hello!
    Gaspar enjoyed Taryn's quite a bit. His friend Chris C. took him there, perhaps the same Chris you mention? Enjoying your blog quite a bit. Gaspar had no idea another member of the Sancoche family had a food blog. What a pleasant surprise. Gaspar's blog, however, deals mostly with the food scene in Connecticut, USA. However, he has been traveling to T&T for many years and done a lot of work there. Please don't be put off by the fact that Gaspar only writes in the third person. Check out his blog at Gaspar will be in T&T in late March; looking forward to trying our more of the places featured in your blog. --Gaspar Sancoche (

  3. I love taryn,s the empanadas, the quesillo, el pan de jamon ummmmm
    and there is always my favorite venezuelan drink Malta polar ..... Im feeling hungry though!!!