My favourite restaurant discovery in weeks: Karu Café on Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, Queens, and the trial of its kitchen.
• Venezuelan empanadas — greaseless, flaky corn flour-based pastry, filled with a mix of coarsely minced beef and coarse chopped olives, stew-like — provide too brief, succulent satisfaction. I will order two or three next time.
• With the Paraguayan mbeju — a flat round of bread, thin as a slice of New York pizza, made using manioc and corn mixed with a dust of cheese quickly cooked in an oil-less pan — its surface speckled with char, ‘crunch’ gives way to flavourful smiling.
Manioc is yuca flour, also known as cassava flour, which is free of gluten.
As I was on an adventure walk, I sampled only some hand-held items. There is plenty of knife and fork food on the menu.
On its walls, Karu’s patron-gifted portraits by the Paraguayan painters Luque Luque — a couple, both of whom paint each piece — gorgeous, luscious women bearing fruit, flowers and ideas (oy veh!), allude to of the work of Art Nouveau’s Alphonse Mucha.
I’ll be back.