Caracas Arepa Bar

The Brooklyn location of Caracas is quite impressive. The dreamy outdoor backyard with colored lights sets up an atmosphere for pure success. It’s huge compared to the East Village restaurant and also has an indoor bar with several Venezuelan rum options. Start off with the sidekicks as appetizers even though you’ll probably be overly full by the time the arepas come, but you know that feeling when you are almost too full but you see your next dish coming and your eyes light up and you think bring it on? Well, welcome to Caracas and a night full of that feeling. The Tajadas, fried sweet plantains with salty cheese, are some of the best plantains I’ve ever had. Large and in charge, not too crispy or mushy, they are sweet and salty and every man or woman’s fantasy food. The Croquetas, deep fried yucca-potato cakes with chorizo, corn and cilantro are fried balls of cheese. You’re welcome.

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Now don’t just come to Caracas thinking your only going to get fried appetizers full of joy followed by arepas. You MUST get the nationally known Venezuelan dish which I actually loved more than anything else. Plus it comes with a side of plantains- jackpot. It’s called Pabellon Criollo which is shredded beef, white rice, black beans and sweet plantains with salty white cheese. The shredded beef is extremely tender and scoop it up with the beans and rice and you couldn’t feel more satisfied or content. There is so much beef to go around for everyone and you just can’t stop. Some might come back for the aerpas, but I will come back for this!

The arepas which are grilled “sandwiches” on 100% corn flour buns and stuffed with ingredients such as: shredded beef, black beans, pork shoulder, avocado, chorizo, cheese, tomatoes, etc. I’m not a big fan of the vegetarian ones but I do recommend the De Pollo which by the way is only $7. Composed of grilled chicken breast, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese (add jalapeños if you’ve got that spicy attitude). It fits right in your hand and looks like a ball of love. They have “special” sauce to add on top of course, too. The caramelized onions really hit the spot in this combination. I had the Reina Pepiada which is Chunky Chicken and Avocado Mix Salad at the East Village spot a while ago, and it was a bit too creamy/heavy on the avocado to taste anything else. However, the Brooklyn location is a lot easier to find a table, more enjoyable due to bigger space and could be ideal for a birthday party sine they have awesome sangria and the pricing is unbeatable for a large group.

Believe it or not, we went for the Coconut Tres Leches which is sponge cake soaked in condensed, evaporated and coconut milk. This I do not regret – even after all of the plantains, arepas, shredded beef. This sweet delight is the cherry on top of this lovely place. It’s also a great spot to go to before a concert at Brooklyn Bowl if you have time and also builds in time to walk it off.

IMG_1941Pabellon Criollo

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