Farewell, Orinoco

By Alison Barnet

Orinoco, the Venezuelan “Latin kitchen,” has recently closed, much to my dismay. It had been at 277 Shawmut, corner of West Concord St.—formerly David Parker’s stove shop—since 2006, and now it’s gone.  Every time I went to my favorite restaurant I ordered my favorite pabellon criollo:  shredded beef, plantains, black beans and what Orinoco called its “most folkloric dish.”

​A long typed sheet next to the door thanks its customers, expresses regrets at closing, and explains that it seeks a better work-life balance. It blames the pandemic for turning “our world upside down.” It’s signed by owner Andres Branger and Martha. The good news is the South End staff will now be working at the Brookline Orinoco. 

​Luckily, there are still two Orinocos, one in Brookline and one in Harvard Square. I’ve never been to either but will certainly seek them out, especially for the pabellon criollo, which I can’t live very long without.

​The Shawmut Inn, an American restaurant, is expected to move in.

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