Arepa is a type of food made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela. It is eaten daily in those countries and can be served with accompaniments such as cheese, cuajada (fermented milk) or avocado, or split to make sandwiches. Having never been to either of those countries – we were curious and tried them at the new Arepas TX in Dallas. It is a fastcasual restaurant specializing in Latin street food. Here, you’ll find beautiful arepas made from scratch ranging from smoked brisket with chimichurri sauce to many vegetarian creations. Once I saw that they had vegetarian options, I had go try them!
In Colombia, arepas are piled with ingredients. In Venezuela, they are stuffed pockets. The cooks at Arepa work around the clock to make the arepas every day. They start with hot water and whisk in flour to make a good porridge. They pancake the mixture back and forth with their hands and knead the dough for two minutes. It rests before being rolled out. The result is a thin, crusty shell on the outside, embossed in the panini press, with a light, fluffy interior. It tastes unmistakably of corn and some salt.
The menu at Arepa TX is a tour of the world with big and bold flavors. There’s a Cubano, barbecue jackfruit, smoked brisket, fish taco, a banh mi, even a cheeseburger. We tried the Venezuelan Shredded Beef and Cheese Arepa and a couple of the vegetarian arepas. I loved the sautéed cactus strips with red bell peppers and BBQ Jackfruit ones the best. Don’t miss out on jicama slaw and the shoestring plantain chips!