Saturday, 18 September 2010

cruzao arepa bar, fitzroy: venezuelan charm

cruzao arepa bar

The first time I went to Cruzao Arepa Bar for their Venezuelan-style arepa (corn bread) offerings was in early August, when it was a young business of only a few days old. I had the chorizo arepa while Simon had the slow cooked black beans and feta cheese. Both were cooked to perfection; the corn bread had a lovely texture and the fillings were tasty. (Note: It made a good snack or a light meal, but someone a little hungrier will probably want to supplement their arepa with other items from the menu.) I also tried papelón con limón, a sugar cane drink which is different to the Southeast Asian version I'm used to, but nice and refreshing in its own way.

The second time I popped by for a takeaway by myself, and opted for the roast pork leg in garlic and red wine. I was kindly treated to more papelón con limón and complimentary tequeños (crispy cheese sticks) while I waited. The tequeños, oozing with warm cheesy goodness, tasted, to me, like a savoury version of churros, and were very good. I also noticed they now had $12 weekday lunch specials which consisted of soup, arepa and dessert, and vowed to return for that.

So here I am again with Simon, and this time I have a camera and a blog. (Insert evil laughter of choice.) Unfortunately, they had now swapped the dessert in the lunch special for a coffee or tea, darn it! I was too late, but the new deal is still pretty good.

We start off with the cruzao, which is a meat and vegetable soup. It is served with coriander to add as you wish, and a piece of a corn on a stick. It's a comforting soup that reminds me of something that would have been simmering away at the stove for an hour at home.

cruzao

I had the shredded chicken and avocado arepa this time.

arepa - shredded chicken and avocado with mayonnaise

Simon liked the black bean and feta arepa last time and he's sticking to it. I can understand why. We both rate this and the chorizo one our favourite arepas so far.

arepa - slow cooked black beans with feta cheese
Service here moves at a relaxed pace; the food is simple and down-to-earth. I may have a bias as I have a fondness for South American culture, but I like Cruzao Arepa Bar. Next time, I'll be trying their desserts!

Update: Have been back a couple times since - still haven't gotten around to their desserts! But the Fresca salad and the llanera arepa are my new loves.

Cruzao Arepa Bar on Urbanspoon

8 comments:

  1. YUMMY! I think I shall refrain from reading your blog at 12am. I'm itching to eat food now. XD

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  2. YUM! Both of those arepas sound delicious...

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  3. Look at that juicy fat corn kernel :)

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  4. Cruzao arepa bar desserts rock!! They have one that tastes a lot like creme caramel but is actually made from pumpkin. You won't regret it!!!

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  5. Thanks for the tip! I'm sure I'll try them all eventually. :D

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  6. I would love to go there!! thx for the review!

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  7. Wow, I am a huge arepa fan and these look fantastic! I will have to check it out next time I'm in Melbourne.

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