Hungering for the Block

Restaurant has new spin on Latin American cuisine


Anna Pipinos, Staff Writer

Taking a bite out of a warm, crispy french fry, I marvelled at the taste, and with the perfect, cold sip of a vanilla milkshake to wash it down, goosebumps made their way up and down my body.  

The Hunger Block, an authentic South American  bistro located in Rockbrook Village, serves various traditional dishes, primarily from  Venezuela. 

Approaching the restaurant, I observed an outdoor patio where people can be seated throughout the warmer seasons. 

Walking into the restaurant, I heard South American music.Between the notes, I made out a light strumming of a guitar, the rhythmic drums, and the shaking of maracas. The sweet tune was being played soft enough for families and friends to be able to talk, but loud enough to permeate the room. From the ceiling hung flags from various South American countries and fairy lights. 

Although it was quite busy for a Sunday evening, I was seated rather quickly and was brought a plate of complimentary chips and salsa. This was a fantastic way to begin my meal since the home-made chips were delicious, but not overly filling. 

After placing my order, I was able to enjoy the cozy and friendly atmosphere of the place. Lining the walls were long benches where couples, children, and parents were allowed to talk with each other while they waited for their food to be served.  

Before I knew it, the waiter came out with my meal of the day: Pastelitos de Carne y Papa. Coming with a side sauce, these two delicious Cuban turnovers were filled with a savory filling of potatoes and meat. Although they were quite tiny and not as filling as I expected,  they were packed with all sorts of flavors that worked wonders together. 

Soon after taking a bite of my second pastelito, the waiter brought out my second order: Parrilla Mixta. With an exquisite presentation came the magnificent smell of french fries, fried plantains, and three different kinds of meats: chicken, beef, and pork. 

The fried plantains came with a white, bland yogurt sauce and were unfortunately not my favorite part of the dish; even though they were well-cooked, they were too flavorless for my taste. 

Continuing with the three different types of meat that came with a vinaigrette sauce, I savored the sausage and the steak, which were both incredibly juicy. The chicken was tender and had an unexpected but nice sweetness to it. 

As I began eating the hot, salty french fries, the Hunger Block renowned milkshake was brought out to my table. The vanilla milkshake was any sweet tooths dream dessert as it was topped with an ice cream sandwich and a strawberry donut.

 The Hunger Block is most famously known for these gigantic milkshakes. There are two different flavors as of right now: chocolate and vanilla. The shakes are normally adorned with a donut or a slice of a cake along with an ice cream sandwich or a ball of ice cream of choice. The looks of the shake do not fail to impress; this Venezuelan joint goes to great length to make sure that the presentation of the shakes are superb. 

Although the food was  outstanding, I was incredibly happy with the cultural aspect of the restaurant. In West Omaha and throughout the states, it is quite the task to find culturally authentic restaurants like The Hunger Block, and when it comes to the perfect blend of Americana and authentic Latin cuisine, the Hunger Block should be a restaurant on the top of everyone’s list as you can drink an excellent milkshake and enjoy phenomenal food from a foreign country.