La Arepa Venezuelan

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La Arepa

La Arepa

Location: SE 50th and Ivon, A la Carts Food Pavilion
Hours: Daily, 9am-8pm

The Story:

Portland has some great street food from around the world, but we’re lacking a bit in foods from South America. We have a few, but not many. La Arepa has opened and offers authentic Venezuelan food at A la Carts Food Pavilion.

The namesake of this cart is the arepa, a traditional snack/sandwich out of Venezuela. An arepa is a flat, round, bread-like patty made of cornmeal. It is then grilled and filled with cheese, meats, fish and/or vegetables. Since it is wheat-free, it is naturally gluten free and takes the place of bread in many Venezuelan homes. They may look small, but they are filling.

Arepas from La Arepa

Arepas from La Arepa

The arepas we enjoyed on our visit were served with shredded beef and shredded tilapia. The beef, slow cooked with garlic, onion, paprika and black pepper was moist and succulent with an amazing depth of flavor. The tilapia was seasoned with onions, garlic, paprika and sweet pepper, mellowing out the natural saltiness of the fish with some sharp flavors. The actual arepa patty was the key though. It is dense and makes a great vessel for the meat and fish. Looking at the menu, I now want to try one with meat and cheese.

La Arepa is open every day of the week to serve their tasty Venezuelan dishes. Beyond arepas, they have breakfast dishes, tapas (small plates,) empanadas, desserts, and full meals. This is one of those hidden gems you will be glad you found. Check them out and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Arepa with shredded beef – $6
  • Arepa with chicken – $5
  • Domino: arepa stuffed with black beans and white Cotija cheese – $5
  • Reina Pepiada: arepa stuffed with chopped chicken salad prepared with potatoes, carrots and avocado – $6.50
  • Perico: arepa stuffed with scrambled eggs with garlic, onion, sweet pepper and tomato – $5
  • Empanada with shredded beef: turnover-like cornmeal stuffed pocket – $3
  • Empanada with fish – $3
  • Empanada Domino – black beans and grated white cheese – $2.50
  • Pabellon Criollo – white rice, seasoned shredded beef, fried plantains, sliced avocado, fried egg, black beans and topped with Cotija cheese – $8
  • Cachapa – pancake-like dish made of fresh ground corn with a soft Mozzarella cheese and butter – $4.50

Hours: Daily, 9am-8pm
Phone: 503 200 4952
Facebook: La Arepa

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Comments

  1. This is definitely a must try! Make sure you get a “Pabellon”, they are delicious!

  2. Read with interest the article on La Arepa, however, wheat free does not equate to gluten free. Rye and, unfortunatly, Barley also contain the glutens that many people react to. Oats (except for certified gluten free oats) are contaminated with gluten in the storage and shipping process. There are many other issues to look at in addition to these. Please keep this in mind before saying that something is gluten free because it is made with corn.

  3. Had this on the way to work this week. It was earlier in the morning and I went for the Perico. Wow! Talk about an awesome breakfasty meal! Can’t wait to go back next week.

  4. Stopped by La Arepa to see if the food truly is gluten free. Disappointing trip. Cart full of gluten contamination from other menu items.

  5. I have been in “La Arepa” AMAZING AND GOOD TASTY FOOD!! I recommend it with eyes closed.

  6. Executive Chef Jim, nobody cares about how “knowledgeable” you are about gluten free, you seem to be quite the character!

  7. Jose Francisco says:

    Went there on Monday 2/27/12 around 1 p.m.and it was closed. So frustrating after driving out all the way from Beaverton.

  8. laverruf says:

    Really sorry José Francisco, but we close on Mondays, hope you’ll come back soon :)

  9. Yolimar Romero says:

    I can’t wait to go there…

  10. I went there last Thursday (10/11/2012) around 7:30 pm and it was closed. It’s kind of far from where I live but I will try again. I’m from Caracas-Venezuela, so I need my Arepa fixed really soon.

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