Last Updated on February 22, 2022 by Angie
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Pabellon is a unique restaurant that serves both Mexican and Venezuelan cuisine at its location on Banksville Road. While Pittsburgh has its fair share of Mexican restaurants and even several Venezuelan restaurants, the combination of the two at Pabellon is special and sure to please.
A Visit to Pabellon for Venezuelan Staples
The menu here is separated out into a Venezuelan section and a Mexican section, making it easy to navigate if you're looking for something specific to those cuisines. On the Venezuelan side, highlights include pabellon criollo (a shredded beef platter with beans, plantains, and other typical sides), cachapas (fried corn pancakes stuffed with beef and cheese), empanadas, and dozens of arepa options.
For Mexican cuisine, the restaurant offers a large menu with standard options like tacos, enchiladas, and burritos all with your choice of meat. While we didn't try anything from the Mexican menu, we were definitely intrigued by several of the burritos including a Pittsburgh burrito (with French fries!) and the Pabellon house special burrito that included a Venezuelan touch of sweet plantains along with beef, beans, and rice.
For our recent takeout order, we stuck to the Venezuelan side of things. First, we started with an appetizer of tostones, which were smashed and fried plantain slices topped with cheese and pink (ketchup-mayo) sauce. The plantains were crispy, starchy, and punctuated with the saltiness of the grated cheese and sweet, creamy sauce. Tostones are deceptively simple but they can easily fall victim to sogginess or blandness, but at Pabellon they were perfectly executed.
We continued the plantain trend in our entree orders – the super sweet plantain and the Steelers arepa. The super sweet plantain was deep fried and topped with both beef and chicken, pico de gallo, lettuce, pink sauce, cheese, and avocado. There was so much going on here in terms of different flavors and textures, yet it was all harmoniously delicious. The sweetness of the plantain was kept in check by the saltiness of the cheese and meats, while the pico de gallo provided some acidity and freshness.
And last but not least, we knew we had to try an arepa. The Steelers arepa spoke to us with black beans, cheddar cheese, and white cheese, and we went all out by adding on sweet plantains. We loved the combination of rich, earthy, creamy beans with the sweet plantains. The amount of cheese on the arepa was no joke, either. But above all, the arepa itself was a standout – it was well-seasoned and tender but with just enough crispness to stand up to the saucy filling.
Another fun, quirky thing about Pabellon is that they have a separate cafe inside that also sells churros. While we didn't try the cafe on this visit, we love the concept. Churros to go? Sign us up!
We give Pabellon high praise for their huge portions and flavorful Venezuelan food. We will definitely be back for some tacos and burritos, and to try some churros and coffee!
Pabellon is located at 2957 Banksville Road in Beechview.