Every year since my food awakening (sometime in college) I think that I've had a food of the year! A particular type of cuisine that is perfection for my palate. This year I think the food type would have to be Venezuelan. Not only is it delicious it's also very affordable.
Ever since I first went to Carachas in the East Village with Lani, I was in love with Arepas. The Venezualan staple which is almost like an English muffin made with corn and griddled with care then stuffed with loads of delicious ingredients. Carachas has this sweet and spicy hot sauce that is almost magical so after many repeated meals, I decided it was time to venture out and see what else was out there in the world of Arepa.
I went to Arepa Arepa in South Williamsburg on Friday night with Lani and our friend Jo and I had a great experience. Although Carachas has a special place in my heart, I fully appreciate the lightness, freshness and super relaxed ambiance of Arepa Arepa. It's not the biggest space but it's open and feels very comfortable. It was nice not to have to eat almost table to table with strangers. The owner was the only person I saw working but he was very friendly and managed to be surprisingly efficient.
Also, the side dishes are quite extraordinary. My fave being the Plantanos, sweet plantains that are fried to a crisp finish, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cheese. Contrasting salty sweet to perfection. I also tried the Platto of rice, black beans, plantains and avocado (we devoured it before realizing we didn't take a picture!). This dish has some of the same plantains served with black beans which I thought were okay, but the rice that came with this dish was absolutely amazing! I'm not quite sure what was in it but it was bursting with flavor (garlic was the only definite we could determine).
As for the arepas we tried the corn bread was thinner and crisper than Carachas providing for a much lighter feeling dining experience. Another significant difference is that Arepa Arepa offers fish options. I had the Pescado which is Tilapia, Tomatoes, Onions and Parsley. The flavors really complemented each other and the fish was delicate and moist. My companions had the Caroatas and the Champinones which they assure me were equally delicious. We also were given a salsa accompaniment that added an extra burst of goodness to every bite! We asked for more but could have asked for thirds...it's just that good!I also tried the 3 milk cake (cant' remember the name), it was decent but not my fave, next time I think I'd rather try the flan.
With Arepas mostly between $5-6 and sides for $3-4, this makes for a definite affordable meal. 3 girls eating to our hearts content ran us only about $30. Although a bit off the beaten path, I'll definitely make my way back to South B.Burg soon.
Arepa Arepa 160 Havemeyer St (b/n 2nd St & 3rd St) Brooklyn, NY. (718) 388-5797