Tinker (Gainesville, FL)

Tinker’s brick and mortar restaurant, which opened in October of 2020 after the success of their food truck, offers up a variety of decadent Venezuelan street food!

The restaurant is located in a gorgeous warehouse-looking building that has an industrial and modern feel to it. It has very high ceilings and open space with plenty of indoor seating and even a grassy play area for kids. They required masks and had hand sanitizer dispensers for safe dining. Unfortunately, they do not have outdoor seating available at this time.

Inside
Side View
Grassy Play Area

The location was very well decorated with colorful murals and twinkling lights, with Latin pop music lifting your spirits and making you dance while you wait! I was not familiar with Venezuelan food, but the workers were very friendly and kindly explained all the dishes for me. They said that their ingredients were supplied through Miami.

mural and restroom

The Pepito with Chicharrón ($11.99), a sub-like sandwich with fried pork belly, was my favorite out of the items I tried because the pork belly was crispy, the sauces were flavorful, and the bread was soft. I got shredded lettuce on the side, but ended up adding it into the sandwich because it gave it a refreshing crunch to contrast the grease from the pork belly.

Pepito with Chicharrón

Tinker does have some options for vegetarians, such as the Cheese Arepas and the impossible burger. I tried the fried arepas (cornmeal cakes; $8.99) with cheese-you can also get them grilled but fried ones had a nice crunch. These would definitely taste better in house, as cheesy and fried items did not travel as well. The arepas were very crispy and were filled with fried cheese, shredded cheese, and house sauce. This was very heavy with the double cheese, especially combined with the creamy house sauce, so I would definitely just opt for the fried cheese and add shredded lettuce next time to add some texture and crunch to the cheese mixture. You would like this if you love cheese! Then again, can you ever go wrong with fried cheese?

Fried Arepas up close
Arepas from above

As for dessert, the Nutella Tequeños ($5.99) were crunchy on the outside and jam packed with chocolately filling. They definitely did not skimp on the filling in these y’all. This is an extremely sweet dessert, so it will be perfect for all the sweet-toothed folks out there.

Nutella Tequeños

The Chicha ($5), a Venezuelan rice drink made with condensed milk, had the thick consistency of pudding. It was a bit hard to drink, as it was extremely thick and very sweet, but I liked the creamy, grainy flavor and the cinnamon added to the top. You would like this if you like rice pudding. 

Chicha

Overall I really enjoyed the variety of Venezuelan dishes Tinker offers and would be back to share some more items with friends! I am excited for their food truck to be back up and running soon as well!

Takeout

Published by Community Foodwaves

Promoting conscious eating one bite at a time! www.communityfoodwaves.com

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