La Taguara

A Gastronomic Expedition

By Sujhey Beisser | Photographed by Sunny Frantz

Embark on a culinary jaunt to La Taguara’s second restaurant on East Johnson Street. The unexpected success of the first location on Madison’s far East Side in 2013 inspired chef Jeykell Badell to open the new restaurant last fall. Staying true to his concept and the colloquial term that inspired the name, La Taguara at its essence is a modest food establishment transporting diners to Venezuela, that picturesque Latin country nestled by the Caribbean, via traditional music, décor and flavors. The menu explores the variety and simplicity of Venezuelan cuisine and each item is made in-house from scratch “like my mom would make it,” Badell says.

Top picks to experience the authentic taste and feel of Venezuelan cuisine include:

Pabellon: The national dish that combines shredded beef, black beans, white cheese, rice and fried plantains.

Cachapa con Queso y Cochino Frito: A sweet corn pancake typical of Los Llanos, the grassy plains region, filled with handmade cheese and a side of crispy pork.

Arepas: Made of ground white corn, this sandwich can be stuffed with beef, chicken, cheese, beans and pork. It is considered the queen of breakfast at every Venezuelan table, but also makes a filling lunch or dinner.

Patacon Pisao: Quintessentially Latin American in each bite, a twice-fried green plantain is served stacked with meat, beans or veggies and additional lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese and two condiments, tartara verde and guasacaca sauce—an inventive salsa dished up with a smooth, avocado-based sauce. It’s just one of several menu items that will satisfy the curious palate.


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