rss twitter 4sq flickr instagram yelp

Caracas Arepa Bar (Manhattan, NY) – Arepa, Arepa!

November 7, 2011

In December 2009, Caracas introduced to me to the arepa.

…Wait, let me be perfectly accurate: In December 2009, Caracas introduced me to the Venezuelan arepa. (I just didn’t know that at the time.)

I make the distinction because…well, honestly because I have another post in the works I talk about different types of arepas. However, I’m also making the distinction because I know more than I did in 2009. Before Caracas, I had never heard the word “arepa”, let alone that there were different types of arepas. Now, I know better. That’s one of the reasons I love food – a single bite can open your eyes to something completely new.

…But I digress. This post is about arepas. Venezuelan arepas.

If you’ve never had a Venezuelan arepa, think of a corn flour disc that is grilled then baked until it’s relatively crispy the whole way through. This hard arepa shell is then cut in half and stuffed with fillings that range from meat and seafood to avocados and plantains. It reminds me a little of an authentic Mexican gordita, but baked and without the breadiness in the middle.

Caracas serves 12+ varieties of arepas at any given point in time, which can be a bit intimidating. (Even more so when you consider Caracas also serves appetizers, salads, empanadas, shakes and desserts…) If you’re not sure what to order, you can’t go wrong with a combination platter – I usually order “La Popular” because it contains two of my go-to’s: The “Reina Pepiada”, which has shredded chicken mixed with avocado, and the “De Pabellon”, which has beef, black beans, cheese and plantains. The weekend special arepas are also good; one of my all time favorite arepas was the seafood arepa special with grilled squid.

No matter what filling you choose, make sure you try a bite with the yellow house sauce. (There’s a bottle of it on every table.) I don’t know what’s in it – it’s “a secret” – but I do know it’s like crack. Tangy, slightly fruity with just a touch of spiciness, I douse everything I order in it.

Lastly, a word of guidance: Arepas may look small but they’re actually much more filling than you would think. Order 1 if you want a hearty snack, 2 if you’re really hungry and 3 if you want to feel like you’re giving birth to a food baby. Whenever I order 3, I always curse myself for ordering that last one. Seriously, 2 will fill you up just fine.

(Btw, I apologize for the quality of these photos. Caracas’ food is great but its lighting…not so much.)

Caracas Arepa Bar
93 E 7th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 529-2314
Website: http://www.caracasarepabar.com/
Twitter: @caracasarepabar

Caracas Arepa Bar on Urbanspoon

One Comment on “Caracas Arepa Bar (Manhattan, NY) – Arepa, Arepa!”

  • Libby

    Reading this review reminded me of our hot date there last year. Gosh I miss my food buddy! And I’m very impressed with the pictures…that must have been a challenge!

    November 10, 2011 » 12:22 AM »

Leave a Comment

1