The Difference Between Tourists and Travelers

Do you want to know the difference between a “tourist” and a “traveler?” A tourist tends to stick with what is familiar, what feels “safe.” Chain stores and restaurants, especially when they’re traveling, give tourists a sense of belonging and a secure feeling of knowing what to expect.

Real travelers, however, want none of that. They thrive on exploring new territory. When they arrive in a place, they immediately seek out the locals and ask them questions like, “Where does YOUR family like to eat?” They want to try something different, something unexpected. They really desire to know what makes your town special.

Traveling (Like a Local)

What’s more, I can not over-emphasize the importance of learning to be travelers in our own homeplace, to step out of our routines, and to see our city anew. (It is ever-changing, and there are always new horizons to explore.) That’s why I was so excited when three of my friends, all whose culinary opinions I hold in high esteem, went out of their way last week to recommend the Venezuelan/Mexican dishes that are being prepared by Cylantro’s, a restaurant on the corner of Main Street and Highway 92. Tucked away on the side of the Shell gas station, this hidden gem has outdoor seating (pet-friendly!) and some of the best arepas and empanadas that I’ve ever had.

Take a look:

Cylantro's Taco

Try a new taco for every day of the week: asada (steak), pollo (chicken), chorizo (Mexican sausage), pastor (pork with a touch of pineapple), tinga ( chicken with chili chipotle), and chicarron (pork skin).

Cylantro's Arepa

My new favorite: The Reina Pepiada is the traditional Venezuelan arepa with a savory, creamy filling of chicken breast, cilantro, and avocado. (Arepas are grilled patties made with 100% corn meal flour.) Try it with the house-made Cylantro’s sauce.

Fried goodness: A cheese empanada. (They also come stuffed with shredded beef, ground beef, and chicken.)

Leave room for dessert: This rich flan topped off a perfect meal.

The next time you’re “traveling” around Woodstock and want to experience something new, give Cylantro’s a try. You might just be the one recommending it the next time around when anyone asks “where the locals like to eat.”

Website: Cylantro’s
Address: 9595 Main Street, Woodstock, GA
Phone: 404-343-5819

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