Sazon sits on that uninviting hodgepodge strip of
We started drinking a white wine we brought along (Sazon is BYOB) and ordered the sampler appetizer plate with empanada, arepas, and tequenos accompanied by a tomato salsa. These appetizers came out more fried and greasy than I had expected. The wine must have been working because I’m normally pissy when I have to eat fried appetizers. I was quite happy to eat the fried teqenos (a glorified mozzarella stick), and the cheese and bean stuffed arepas and empanada. Full size arepas and empanadas stuffed with various meat and non-meat fillings can also be ordered.
I ordered the dinner plate of grilled tofu mixed with portabellas, seasoned with tomato salsa, and served with brown rice and black beans. I substituted white rice (just because I’m a vegetarian doesn’t mean I'm some health nut), and requested sweet plantains, too. I was a little unimpressed with the menu description, but was pleasantly surprised by the tofu, portabella, and tomato mixture that resembled a ragout. This mixture was very flavorful and not spicy at all. In fact, nothing we ate that night was spicy. Venezuelan food at Sazon is mild, simple, home cooking. When you eat black beans, you taste black beans; not a mouthful of coriander and cumin.
My partner ordered the tilapia special that came with an avocado salad and fried green plantains. He said the fish was cooked perfectly.
For dessert, the server recommended the coconut flan. While I’m iffy on flan (this saying, apparently, is quite funny after a bottle of wine), my partner likes flan. We went with the recommendation. The dessert was a mash up of a coconut macaroon and flan. I enjoyed this much more than traditional flan, but my partner would have probably enjoyed the traditional flan more.
Sazon is very affordable, thanks in part to the fact that you’re saving money on drinks by bringing your own. We got out of there for under $50, and $23 of that bill was the fish special. At those prices (not the fish special), I want to go back and try the full size arepas and empanadas, or maybe the weekend brunch. Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Da Da!
* Some people (comments deleted) are getting worked up over this comment, so I'll explain. I have since discovered that the picture is of Celia Cruz, a salsa singer. While I did not know at the time who the picture was of, I also did not believe the picture was of Patti LaBelle. I merely found humor in imagining (operative word) Patti Labelle popping out of tropical foliage singing a silly song. Can't a girl drink a bottle of wine and have a little fun?
Sazon, 941 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia, PA 19123
Tues.-Wed, 11a.m-3pm, 5:30p.m.-9p.m.; Thurs. 11a.m.-3p.m., 5:30p.m.-10p.m.; Fri., 11a.m.-3p.m., 5:30p.m.-11p.m.; Sat., 11a.m.-11p.m; Sun., 11a.m.-8p.m.; Saturday and Sunday brunch, 11a.m.-3p.m.