I Love Arepas - Venezuelan!

I LOVE AREPAS.  Yes, I do.  And you will, too!

Meet Felix Arellano, Venezuelan arepas artisan who worked under Mario Batali at Carnevino.   He left Carnevino to pursue his dream of sharing his native arepas with Las Vegans and tourists who venture north of the Stratosphere and into the Arts District.  I Love Arepas is a true bastion of good food handcrafted for those who like to call themselves foodies.  

You've had pupusas, empanadas, tortas and the like.  You're looking for the next big thing in food: arepas are it.  In NYC, the lines for the Caracas Arepas Bar are infamous.  People flip out for these little tasty sandwiches and with good reasons.  There are pupusa fans out there but arepas lovers consider themselves...devoted.

Arepas are finely ground corn meal made into a delicate bread pocket - think of the best polenta you've ever had and transform it into a handheld sandwich bread.  You've got it.  The corn meal flour is meticulously sifted to make sure it is light as a feather. Move over pupusas, arepas have finally arrived here in the Valley and they're second to none!

It's no secret arepas are addictive.  Once you've had one, it will be very difficult to stop. They go down super easy because there is no heaviness to them at all, save for the fillings.

Throw out your rice flour/tapioca flour/dry gluten-free breads because you're about to experience a gluten-free, wheat-free sandwich so totally delightful a whole country of citizens eat them on a daily basis without ever tiring of them. 

The most traditional and most popular arepa, the Reina Pepiada, has chopped chicken, creamy avocado and their famous Venezuelan sauce which is almost everyone's all-time favorite.  Find out how the Reina Pepiada got its name for our trivia pop quiz at the event!

You'll also want to give their Carne Mechada a try - especially for those who love meat-filled sandwiches or rather, beef sirloin in red wine - good golly!  

For breakfast, I Love Arepas offers Perico  - the ultimate Venezuelan breakfast arepa with scrambled eggs, tomatoes, onions and hot dog sausage.  Pericos aren't well-known here in the States but anyone who has traveled to South America, specifically Colombia and Venezuela knows this is their breakfast happy place.  We get Egg McMuffins but they have Pericos.  We won't tell you who gets the better end of the stick (take a wild guess!).

Vegetarians will want to try their black bean and melted cheese arepa or their egg and cheese arepa.  The most adventurous among us should give tongue, tripe and pernil (roasted pork shoulder, seriously, if you've never had it, please stop denying!), a whirl.

The drinks at I LOVE AREPAS are beautifully unusual:

Parchita, passion fruit juice

Agua Panela, cane juice with a little lemon and sometimes milk or cheese

Guanabana, white soursop juice reputed to kill cancer cells (and even if it doesn't, it tastes darn good).  If you like banana/coconut/strawberry/pineapple, try guanabana - you'll taste a little bit of each of these.

Soft drinks and a daily variety of natural juices are also available.

I Love Arepas will make Venezuelan flan (quesillo) for Adventures in Dining.  Most of us haven't tried quesillo before.  It's denser and yet at the same time fluffier, often with many air holes in it.  Totally different from traditional Mexican flans we've all had.  Not on their menu but prepared with love for our group tonight only!

FORMAT:  Park at Dino's or in the lot just behind it.  We'll arrive for arepas before the bar crowd arrives.  Cash, credit or debit.  Order what you like and order plenty of it because nothing will set you back more than $4.

This is a stand alone cart - just like the food carts in Portland, Oregon.  I Love Arepas has a vision for Vegas food which includes an adjacent bulk candy store similar to The Candy Baron in Monterey, California where everything is natural and made with integrity.  I Love Arepas is about a year or so ahead of its time right now.  Meanwhile, we'll be there to keep the lights on.  

If we're not too full from arepas and quesillo, we can venture over to Luv-It Custard for a frozen custard run.  Wear comfortable standing/walking shoes. 

Brush up on your Venezuelan culture - we could have a pop quiz or two!

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Dang sorry I missed it. Do you ever do restaurant repeats?

    January 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Poly is the hostess with the mostess!

    June 14, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great food! Poly as usual did an awesome job of making it fun !

    June 13, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    I broke my own record: 1 parchita, 1 arepa (#7 Reina Pepiada), 1 hallaca, 1 empanada and 1 Coke. And then I complain that I have gained weight since I moved to LV. All good. Thanks Poly for a very enjoyable Venezuelan dining adventure.

    June 11, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Was a blast, as always. Good food + Good friends = WIN!

    June 11, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Poly did an excellent job during this event. It was my first time and I totally enjoyed it!

    June 11, 2011

  • Poly S.

    A total street party complete with tourists, locals, foodies, freaks and more! A total blast! Mr. Arellanos arepas are not only consistent but outstanding! Wonderful for a pretty and breezy summer evening! I love their bacalao (salted cod) and he had hallacas (Venezuelan style tamales) ready for us, too. Felix shared a lovely story of why he made us the curruchete - a very common dessert made by Venezuelans when they visit their rivers - they use river water to make it with brown sugar, bananas and cheese and let it sit over a log fire outdoors for about 5-15 minutes to cook down into a sweet treat, Congratulations to Heather & John for winning our Argentinian Malbec wine raffle, Congratulations to Isabel for winning our messiest arepa eater award, to Cris for winning our most adventurous award, to Charles for most arepas consumed and to Venezuelan pop quiz winner Christina for winning our South American food basket filled with goodies!

    June 11, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    I want one of these stands close to my neighborhood! For $3-4 we feasted like sexy Venezuelans, hanging out under the warm evening sky. Another amazing event, Poly!

    June 10, 2011

  • Poly S.

    Parking is easy as long as you're willing to walk more than five steps! Please make sure you try some of I Love Arepas parchita, soursop/guanabana and agua panela (the best way to describe this one is like a vanilla & sugar cane refreshing lemonade) which aren't easy to find anywhere else. Soft drinks are also available.

    June 10, 2011

  • Poly S.

    With all that said, arepas are specifically meant, designed, and even wrapped in such a way as to be eaten standing up. Arepas are the quintessential on-the-go, street food in Venezuela. Don't worry we'll grant an award to the sloppiest arepas eater!!

    June 10, 2011

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