As big as a buttermilk stack but with the additions of gobs of white cheese and pernil, the Venezuelan cachapa — a sweetish corn pancake — at Guayoyo ($15) is nearly the size of a hubcap, and formidable enough to put you in a splendid carb coma.
Although Guayoyo’s fresh corn cake is not as fine or as affordable as, say, the one at Inwood’s El Patacon Piseo, it is delicious in its own right.
The surface sizzles up crisp from the griddle, marked with a lacy spiderweb of caramelized sugar. Those charred, crunchy bits taste almost like the top of a crème brûlée, while the innards of the cake yield to a fork, moist and corny. The dish as a whole escapes being too sweet, lent savoriness by the lake of melted, mild white cheese stuffed inside and the pernil on top.
It’s incredibly rich — even the cooling garnish of avocado is fatty in its way. But if you’re a sucker for the one-two punch of sweet and savory, especially in this particularly Venezuelan corn-cheese-pernil form, it’s a very enjoyable way to put yourself out of commission for a few hours.
67 First Avenue
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 13, 2010