One of my most favorite food blogs is At First Bite NYC, which is run by Lucky magazine editor, Noria Morales. A girl who loves her food and fashion? Now that’s what I call a Perfect 10! In addition to a writing style that brings the food to life (no wonder she’s a fashion writer), Noria also has an awesome approach to food. She pretty much eats everything and takes the reader on a culinary journey through all sorts of NYC eateries. I don’t eat meat, but reading some of Noria’s posts makes me want to feast on some prosciutto or juicy steak. (Once again, I’m a pescetarian – I eat NO meat except fish and eggs – because of health/digestive reasons, NOT because of animal rights), so don’t be surprised if I blog about a breakfast of scrambled eggs and pancetta down the road. I was going through AFB the other day and Noria’s post on arepas totally caught my attention and had me looking up places on YELP to find arepas in my neighborhood.
Mission accomplished! Apparently, there’s a place in Santa Monica (perfect!) called Cafe Bolivar, which got rave reviews from patrons about their arepas. Before I go any further with my story, if you don’t know what an arepa is, according to WIKI it’s a type of bread made from corn (so wheat-free + gluten-free) originating from South America but it’s more known as a type of Venezuelan mini-sandwich (and do I mean mini. The arepas from Cafe Bolivar were seriously the size of my palm, which makes them perfect for portion control.) So, of course, I had to try. Fast forward to today and I called ahead to place an order for pick-up. Since their arepas are made to order (as most are), it would take about 20 to 25 minutes. Minimum order is 2 for $6, so I ordered the tuna salad (solid white albacore tuna with bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions, extra virgin olive oil and mayo) and the one with Mango, Avocado, Panela cheese, rosemary and roasted garlic aioli. On the side was a little container of what tasted like cilantro pesto. YUMMY! I thought that the two pint-sized sandwiches weren’t going to fill me up but believe it or not, I couldn’t even finish my second one. I’m definitely going back here for more arepas. So sorry for the sucky quality of my pictures (taken with my Blackberry). I need to get my camera fixed, I know.
The tuna salad arepa
The mango/avocado arepa
In case you happen to be near Ocean Park and 17th in Santa Monica, stop by here. This is the full menu of arepas, so choose as you please:
1. Black beans and panela cheese
2. Plain cheese with your choice of gouda or panela cheese
3. Solid white albacore tuna with bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions, extra virgin olive oil and mayo
4. Jamon cooked with our choice of panela cheese or gouda
5. Mango, Avocado, Panela cheese, rosemary and roasted garlic aioli
6. Chicken breast and avocados with rosemary and roasted garlic aioli