During the pandemic, the Live Oak Grange in Santa Cruz has been running an active pop-up program allowing food entrepreneurs to use its kitchen and vend in the parking lot. In August, I put in an order with Areperia 831 to support a black-owned business.
The specialty is Venezuelan-style arepas. Five types were available, all vegetarian, and I tried one of each at $5 apiece. As described on the IG page https://www.instagram.com/p/CEDGpVfgH0-/ :
• Reina Pepiada - Jackfruit "chicken" salad with avocado and vegan mayo
• Pabellon - Plantain "carne", black beans, fried plantain and cheese
• Domino - Black beans and cheese
• Dos Cruz - A tale of two cities, black beans, fried plantain and Asian slaw
• Playa Azul - Hibiscus "BBQ" and mango slaw
The arepas were so delicate and crisp, obviously made fresh minutes before pick-up time. Interesting to me was that the Reina Pepiada and the Pabellon that are my usual favorites in meated versions turned out to be my top picks in vegetarian form as well. My least favorite was the Domino.
The young lady operating this pop-up is usually here on Thursdays. But she had an accident and will not be working in December. I'd had my eye on her hallacas (Venezuelan tamales) for Christmas. I wish her a speedy recovery!
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