Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Toronto: Arepa Café

when one door closes, another opens
:Queen West:

I woke up on the Saturday of the long weekend really happy.  My sister and I were heading to BMB aka Banh Mi Boys.  So you can imagine my disappointment when I walked by it and saw that it was closed for "kitchen repairs". Tear.

I dried my eye and messaged The Scotsman for ideas of where to go.  He suggested Arepa.  I'd never been but I was down with "Venezuelan urbanity".

Arepa Café is a Queen West joint that's urban hipster meets chic café.  It's bright, narrow and casual.  An arepa is traditional Venezulean comfort food of homemade cornmeal pockets stuffed with stuff.  And at Arepa, they are generous in their stuffing.

Their menu is pretty extensive, but as I looked around, it seemed most people were munching on an arepa of one kind or another.

My stuff was adobo roasted pork ($8.50):

The Scotsman ordered the pabellon (shredded flank steak, black beans, sweet plantains, mozzarella, $9.75).  And my sister (accidentally, I say accidentally because she meant to get what the Scotsman) ordered the vegetarian option.  When hungry our brains only use the minimal amount of energy necessary for average cognitive functioing.  Put another way, we not so smart.

pabellon veggie arepa

I should warn you - their hot sauce is hot.  Think throat closing, mouth on fire, red-face hot.  It's no joke.  I made the mistake of thinking it was and slapped it all over my arepa.  

The three of also shared empanadas. Big mistake - it was weird.  Slightly sweet and a dry bland filling.  But again, I was hungry so not so smart. There is still no empanada that holds a candle to Las Palmas.

Overall the arepas were delicious, very filling, and messy.  Since I'm not one to shy away from a mess I would go back, but I would definitely skip the empanadas.

Arepa Cafe on Urbanspoon

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