Believe it or not, snapping photos - while simultaneously trying to dodge the masses of men and women dressed-up as "Ol' Saint Nick" - quickly revved-up our appetites. That's right, folks: Dara and I were in the midst of Santacon 2010, a city-wide pub crawl. By accident, no doubt. A very good one, at that.
After we made our way through the hysterical chaos, Dara and I walked over to Caracas Apepa Bar for lunch.
The restaurant's interior space isn't frilly or fancy, but it does have one trait that most stuffy joints do not: a spacious outdoor patio. Obviously, being mid-December, Dara and I were not going to dine al-fresco but, nonetheless, it gave me a good reason to return during the warmer months.
After being seated at a cozy two-top overlooking the restaurant's outdoor patio, Dara and I were greeted by our stunningly-gorgeous, South American waitress. Trust me, if you weren't in the mood for Venezuelan cuisine prior to seeing and hearing her speak in her deliriously-sexy, native tongue, then I can guaran-damn-tee you of her powers to quickly make the arepa out to be the most foodgasmic delicacy that you never cared to try. Whew!
Prior to perusing the lunch menu, I ordered a glass of CAB's (Caracas Arepa Bar) "jugo naturale (natural fruit juice)" of the day: guava/mango. It was thick, but not syrupy - flavorful and refreshing, but not overly sweet. I loved the fact that the juice was served in a mason jar!
It took an unruly amount of time for Dara and I to finally come to a decision, in terms of what to order, food wise. However, with the aid of our waitress, we ultimately chose to split two, rather hefty, plates.
Yoyos: come on, with a name like "yoyos," how can you not want to order them just to say that you did? Hey, what did you have for lunch today? "I had yoyos. Why, what did you have?"
Joking aside, yoyos are fried plantain "balls" that are stuffed with salty, stringy white cheese. Without the accompanying maple syrup-like dipping sauce, I found the undressed yoyos to be rather bland in taste - as they were neither sweet nor, necessarily, savory. Meh.
La Popular Curiara (a platter of three arepas, split in half): while I found the yoyos to be mediocre, at best - the arepas, on the other hand, were dynamite. Here are the three versions that Dara and I chose to try:
La de Pabellon an arepa stuffed with shredded beef, black beans, salty white cheese, and fried sweet plantains
La Reina Pepiada an arepa stuffed with Venezuelan guacamole and shredded white-meat chicken
La Mulata an arepa stuffed with grilled with cheese, jalapenos, sauteed red peppers, fried sweet plantains, and black beans
The funny thing is this: of all three arepas, I actually enjoyed the chicken version the most. Quite the shocking conclusion coming from the mouth of someone who isn't a huge fan of poultry.
Needless to say, I found my experience at CAB to be positively unique, affordable, filling, and, most importantly, delicious.
Read it & eat,
The Lunch Belle