I lucked out today. Pica Pica had free samples of the yucca fries, plaintains, three dipping sauces and maize'wich. In addition there was free soup (chupa) with any order.
I decided against the arepa on this visit. They looked like pita sandwiches. However the flatbread is made out of corn flour.
Since I had time to sit and eat at the counter, I ordered the cheese and smoked ham cachapas which is described as a corn pancake. This is served so it looks like a omelet with the cheese and ham filling inside. It was sooo delicious ... the pancake corn-sweet with little pieces of corn in it. The smoked ham was pretty good too.
The sample of the cheese maize'wich was equally delicious ... an oozy cheese standwich on to griddled pieces of a sweet corn bread. I'd definately order one of these after I try other menu items.
Those yucca fries were as good as I imagined but they must be eaten hot. I tried one more as I was leaving and the samples had cooled by then and the yucca turned back into ... yucca.
The plantain samples had been sitting around a bit and were a little too hard and crunchy. Probably hot they would be very good.
The soup was a chicken broth with generous pieces of white chicken breast, potatoes, a piece of corn on the cob, a piece of cheese and some chopped fresh green onion, I'm guessing. It was a nice soup, but didn't wow me. I'm unlikely to order this on my own.
The dipping sauces were only ok, but I just had a little bit when I dipped the fries.
The spiced ketchup was good but I didn't taste any unusual spices. The mela’o de papelon & tamarindo really didn't taste like much. It was a sweet brown sauce but the tamarind flavor didn't jump out at me. That was why I actually tried another fry. I really wanted to try this again because I couldn't remember what it tasted. like. I'm not sure if the other sauce was Pica’Pun, thier signature hot sauce. It wasn't hot and while freshly-made sort of reminded me of Thousand Island dressing. I don't think it was the moreno, black bean mayonnaise which wasn't available for sampling.
It doesn't matter, the food was good and didn't need sauces.
They still didn't have a few items. No coconut lemonade yet so I bought a bottle of Inca's Food El Negrito chica morado, a drink based on purple corn. I haven't tried it yet.
Some of their sandwich fillings were availble to buy in plastic deli containers.
The only real complaint I have is that the stools at the counter are very uncomfortable. Next time I'll order take-out and eat it in the car.
The portions are not huge and the food is light, so when getting an arepa or cachapas a salad, fries, plantain or soup would make for a filling lunch. I really liked those yucca fries and will probably get a full order.
Two more vendors opened at Oxbow ... the spice vendor and five dot ranch meats. The rest still isn't showing much progress
BTW, In January and February there is free admission to Copia located next door. .
Pica Pica Maize Kitchen
610 1st St Ste 5, Napa, CA 94559