AREPAS, VENEZUELA

Arepex Grill (Venezuelan Arepas) – San Diego ( Mira Mesa Farmers Market)

My knowledge of Venezuelan food is pretty limited. In fact, if you go to the search tab on this website and type in Venezuela, you will find the lame words NOTHING FOUND. I have heard so much about arepas over the years but never had the chance to really try them out. I mean, what was my excuse. An arepa, to me, looked like a fat chubby gordita stuffed with lots of meat and stuff. But then again, I’m not a die hard fan of Mexican food so perhaps that was another reason I never got my bottom outta my work chair to try an arepa. So I was curious when I stumbled across Arepex Grill at a farmer’s market.

Leave it to Mary from This Tasty Life to spark that arepa-fire under my a**. Actually, she first sparked a legit takoyaki-fire under said a**  with her recent post about takoyaki at the Mira Mesa Farmer’s Market. THAT was the reason me and V went to this Farmer’s Market on a Tuesday at 2:30p. I ate a tiny lunch in preparation for gorging on hot ooey-gooey octopus and cheese fritters. I remembered Mary also saying there were arepas at this market and wouldn’t ya know it…the arepas stand was RIGHT NEXT TO the takoyaki stand.

MENU
Arepex Grill MENU

I thought $8 bucks for what appeared to be a large arepa seemed like an ok price.

HAND MADE AREPA DOUGH
HAND MADE AREPA DOUGH

A nice woman was forming each arepa dough and then putting them on the griddle.

AREPAS GRILL

Each arepa looked different from the next so you could tell each dough was hand formed. The dough appeared to be puffy thick and yummy. Glaivmar, the nice woman, explained that there’s simply white corn, water, and a pinch of salt in their arepa dough. So THAT’S what makes these puffy things white. I thought it was just regular flour. White corn made total sense now.

Allan (one of the owners of Arepex Grill) suggested I try the chicken arepa with avocado (+$1 more). He said it was the best item on the menu. Sounds good to me.

CHICKEN
CHICKEN
BEEF
BEEF
SAMPLES
SAMPLES

Glaivmar wanted me to sample the beef as well. She added their cilantro cream sauce on top of both samples.

CILANTRO CREAM SAUCE
CILANTRO CREAM SAUCE

I was surprised that I liked the chicken more than the beef. I believe she said they add only garlic, tumeric, salt, red bell pepper, and onions to their beef and chicken. The white meat chicken tasted flavorful and juicy.

SLICING OPEN THE PIPING HOT AREPA
SLICING OPEN THE PIPING HOT AREPA

This was the part I was anticipating most. She took an arepa off the grill and proceeded to cut it in half. She scoops out the soft mushy interior and squeezes the arepa open even more. Then she adds cheese, then the chicken, then a different type of cheese, avocado, cilantro sauce, and then the sriracha sauce.

Here’s the video I took. It’s the best way to show how she put this arepa together here at Arepex Grill:

And this is what you get…

069CHICKEN AREPA WITH AVOCADO $9.00

They taught me how to eat this Guy Fieri style – no kidding. While standing, spread your legs apart, hunch over, and then take a bite because this chicken arepa is juicy and will get all over your shoes and shirt  if you don’t Guy Fieri it ( damn it – did I just use Guy Fieri as a VERB).

I liked the arepa and it tasted, to me, kinda like a very stuffed chicken taco in a corn tortilla. I could definitely taste the corn in the arepa dough and I liked the nice crunch it had from being pan fried on the griddle. There was quite a bit of yummy liquid from the chicken as the arepa soon started to drip the (tumeric colored?) liquid from the chicken. I could taste the abundant melted cheese(s) and I liked the creaminess the avocado brought to the arepa. I was really surprised how the sriracha didn’t overpower this arepa – I’d ask for more next time as I thought it brought this dish to another level. Please keep in mind that this was my first time having a Venezuela arepa so I’m still figuring out what I like and don’t like about it.

AREPAS GRILL

I only managed to take a bite or two before I asked them to package it to go. They said the arepa could be easily reheated in an oven or better yet, a panini grill.

It was a fun quick snack that I’ll have to enjoy later on (probably for breakfast). I’m finally happy to say that I tried an arepa. At a Farmer’s Market. In Mira Mesa of all places.

GLAIVMAR AND ALLAN OF AREPEX GRILL
GLAIVMAR AND ALLAN OF AREPEX GRILL

These guys were quite knowledgeable and so nice. I asked if I could take a picture of their stand and they wanted to hold their company’s banner for the pic. They do accept credit cards and there wasn’t an extra fee to do so. I thought my $9.27 (including tax) was a fair price for what was given to me that afternoon (plus I learned a lot about arepas as well).

They are at the Mira Mesa Farmer’s Market each Tuesday from 2:30p-7p (current market hours). Arepex Grill is a fun spot to try out especially if you’ve never had an arepa before.

AREPEX GRILL
www.arepex.com
(858) 699-4126

14 thoughts on “Arepex Grill (Venezuelan Arepas) – San Diego ( Mira Mesa Farmers Market)

  1. Wow! You need to post a photo of you doing the Guy pose! That would be so awesome seeing you emulate your food hero! 🙂 I gotta start going to that market now that UTC has lost it’s market. *sigh

    1. A photo of *moi* doing a Guy Fieri hunch pose. S’il vous plaît. I don’t even speak French.

      The MM FM wasn’t amazing but I like their food options here (Thai, takoyaki, Poppa’s fish, arepas). Gosh I didn’t realize the UTC market was no longer there. That was a fun one to visit.

        1. It looks like that UTC Market is on Regents (according to that link you sent me)? I didn’t really like the veggie/fruit offerings at the MM market but I don’t really go to these markets for that. And this is the only market where I’ve seen the takoyaki stand.

          My reply to your no parlez vous francais…

          Si…

      1. !! I didn’t know the UTC market had moved, either. Gosh, I guess it’s been a while since I’ve gone.

        If you’re ever in Vegas, try this place:
        http://www.vivalasarepas.com/ — careful with your speakers, the site plays music on some pages 😉

        ^^It’s delicious, but we haven’t been in over a year, so we’ll try to remember what it was like while we check out the MMFM one. My kids are going to be happy there’s a place nearby, finally.

        1. Hi OG!

          I remember when the UTC market was behind Macy’s. It was just a cool market as you could wander around the mall afterwards and partake in some Happy Hour that was still happening.

          I just clicked on that LV arepas restaurant. Wow, a pork butt arepa for $5 ?! All their arepas seem so well priced. I do hope you guys get a chance to try out Arepex and report back what you guys thought of their arepas. You and your family seem to have a nice foundation base of good arepas. I think Arepex is in Scripps Ranch on Saturdays so that’s not too far from Mira Mesa.

          Happy Friday OG –

  2. Haha… I also went to the arepa place the same day as you did, but I didn’t get to go into the booth and take photos like you did. Nice job. Now I don’t wanna post mine hahaha

    I was sad there were no egg waffles as the Japanese stand right next to it which is why I wanted to go to the farmer’s market again. Maybe next week….

    1. Oh too bad we didn’t bump into each other! And yes the takoyaki place didn’t have the egg waffles that day. You must post about the arepas since YOU’RE the one that first told ME about them 🙂 I’m hoping you got a non-chicken arepa so I can know what to order next time if I get a chance to return.

      1. I got a cheese only arepa. I wish I had known they had avocado!!!! Okay. Maybe I’ll post it. But maybe I should try one more first. I’m gonna hope for egg waffles next week.

        1. Oh I want to see the cheese arepa! There was so much cheese in mine and it didn’t taste as good when I finally ate it cold at home (but I’m not exactly a cheese person right). I can’t remember the last time I had an egg waffle – I think it was a tiny sample from E & Drink.

  3. Faye you have to try arepas de choclo too! I think they are Colombian? But its made with fresh corn as well so its a like a mixture between a regular arepa and cornbread. Not sure where they have them in SD but I love those filled with just cheese or cheese + meat + avo like the one you had. I’ve never seen an arepa stand at the farmer’s markets near my house (Little Italy + Hillcrest) sadly….although I think there is a takoyaki stand. How did that turn out? Hoping you post about the takoyaki too!

    1. I think I want so badly for an arepa to be like the chinese meat soup pies. I just googled arepa de choclo – holy cow – they look like cornbread pancakes stuffed with ooey cheese! I bet you could come up with a recipe and make this at home (your version I’m prettehhh sure would have more cheese). I’m surprised there are no arepas at the Little Italy market – maybe it’s too expensive to rent space there. I’ve never been to the Hillcrest one – is it better than the Little Italy market?

      And yes, I SO ate the takoyaki from the Mira Mesa market. Post to come soon –

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