Monday, April 20, 2009

Somebody's Gotta Do It...

Rut no more, SPFers! While it's true I'm as low on funds as the next person (I'd like to thank the dress department at Macy's and a weekend teeming with overpriced cocktails for this state of affairs), I've been doing my best not to fall into a pattern of old faithfuls.Yes, I could eat Curly's and Last Stop every day of my life, but sometimes a girl's got to change it up.

So that's exactly what I did on Friday evening when I headed to Caracas my lovely friend A and her gorgeous cocktail hat (a separate, fabulous entity). This was all A's doing, since she'd recently been introduced to the place and wanted to pay it forward. It's my understanding that the cuisine at Caracas is Venezualan, and the emphasis is on their arepas.

Arepas are impossible to describe, except to say that they are constructed from some type of bread made with corn. The bread is then stuffed with a number of delicious fillings, including meat, peppers, exotic cheeses, vegetables and even vaguely exotic plantains. There are even a few vegetarian options, and it seems relatively simply to make any of the offerings vegetarian or vegan by simply requesting that they hold the meat or cheese.

I'm generally tolerant of waiting for my food after I place my order because I understand that the cooking process takes time. However, I am rarely tolerant of waiting a long time for my order to be taken. Unfortunately, this was the case at Caracas. I tried to be understanding because it was quite busy and I didn't mind at all because I was busy chatting and catching up with A, but it was still annoying. What if we'd been in a hurry? The only other problem with this experience occurred when I discovered a smear of sauce UNDERNEATH the table by accidentally swiping my hand against it, so that was a pretty unpleasant situation.

Anyway, it's time to move on to the good stuff: the food. A and I split an order of tajadas, fried plantains with cheese. The cheese was crumbled and served in a small corresponding bowl, and the plaintains were fried to perfection. I loved the combination of the slight sweetness of the plantains with the cheese sprinkled on top. A happens to be vegan, which always works out well because that means more cheese for me! Yep, I ate it all.

A and I both ordered a La Jardinera arepa, which included eggplant, sundried tomatoes, carmelized onions and cheese (although A requested hers without cheese, naturally). It's almost impossible to explain what these bad boys tasted like. Physically it was almost reminiscent of a falafel, but it tasted more like some kind of barbecued sandwich or something, which was probably due to the filling. The texture of the bread is almost like cornbread, but the taste lacks the sweetness of cornbread. I'm completely unable to do it justice here, so suffice it to say that everyone should go try it. It's a mouthful of YUM.

And, since one of our poll excuses for being so lame is lack of funds, I find it necessary to point out that A's and my bill came to $17 for the two of us, and would have been even less if we hadn't gotten the appetizer. Each arepa was $6, and even though we ate inside I believe they also offer takeout and delivery options. So there we go. A new, cheap alternative for dinner plans if you find yourself near 7th Street.

An unrelated side note: After the aforementioned shopping spree and alcoholic endeavors of the weekend, my new budget permitted me to buy only the following groceries for the week: asparagus, grapes, orange juice, laundry detergent and a large pizza from Last Stop, the leftovers of which I intend to eat for dinner every night this week. Except tonight, because my friend L and I decided to make $0.50 ramen instead. I love New York.


k said...

anyone wanna go to the one in williamsburg ?

eLs said...

What do you have against 7th Street?