There’s plenty of good reviews for this Venezualen hot-spot Arepera Guacuco! If you love arepa sandwiches, try the paisa, simple Venezualen cheese that’s similar to mozzarella, jamon y queso, a mariscado (shrimp, squid, mussels in tomato sauce), or even a salchicha (sausage in pink sauce), with prices ranging from $4.50 to $8.
“Arepera” means “a place that sells arepas,” and Guacuco is the name of a beach in Venezuela where owner Leonardo Molina was born. His mother Carmen is cooking the food at this restaurant, and her arepas are delicious. Arepas are lightly-fried corn patties that are split open and filled with cheese, vegetables or meat.
Carmen’s secret is that she makes her arepas super fresh: When she sees a customer walk in the door, she starts making the patties from cornmeal, salt and water. She pats them into shape, fries them on a griddle with a bit of oil, and finishes them in the oven.
There’s beer and wine on this menu, but a more memorable drink is the papelón con límon, a traditional Venezuelan limeade spiked with molasses.
Extra hungry? Arepera Guacuco serves traditional Venezualen plates, prices $10-$13, of asopados de mariscos, a seafood mix with soupy rice, or a carite frito, grilled king fish, with a touch of garlic, rice and a choice of salad or sweet plantains. Empanadas, desserts, and natural fruit drinks are also served.
44 Irving Ave
L train to Jefferson St.