Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rachael's Restaurant Reviews- Hola Arepa

I ate at Hola Arepa's food truck on my birthday last year and was blown away by how good it was.  When I heard they opened a brick and mortar spot, I quickly grabbed some friends to go eat some Arepas pronto!

First, a culinary lesson. What's an Arepa you ask?  Well that varies by country and place. But generally speaking, an Arepa is a thick patty made out of corn maize/corn meal and then either cooked on a griddle, fried or even steamed.  It is most commonly associated with Venezuelan and Columbian cuisine. The patty is then stuffed with braised meat, vegetables, cheeses, eggs, you name it.  Think of it as an incredibly delicious Colombian tortilla.

Hola Arepa- 3501 Nicollet Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Rating- 9

The Order:
Shredded Beef & Plantain Arepa- Sweet plantain, black beans, hola sauce, cotija cheese, pickled onion
Delicious. the beef was so wonderfully flavorful and juicy. The cotija cheese added a wonderful bite and creaminess.The plantains were sweet, the pickled onions spicy, and the Arepa was crispy on the outside and hot and perfect on the inside. This is what Friday tastes like.  I added extra Hola Sauce and some homemade salsa to mine because I like things spicy. Ahhh, I want one again right now.

Yuca- with aioli verde or chimi churi sauce (we got both)
These were good Yuca fries.  Very crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside.  I tend to like mine a tad bit thinner, and thought Brasa's version was better. But, overall worth the order for sure. But per usual, I would drink the dipping sauces with a straw if I wasn't guaranteed to get weird looks.

Tortilla Chips-  With 3 salsas
Clearly homemade chips, and the salsas were all incredibly delicious.

Solveig & Hibiscus Tonic Cocktail- Far north gin & house made hibiscus tonic
Wow. Please do not leave Hola Arepa without getting one of their house made cocktails.  Everything about this drink was exactly what I wanted.  It looked incredible, it tasted refreshing and summery, this is happiness in a beautiful small hand corked bottle. 

If I haven't made it clear enough already, GO! The food is fantastic, the atmosphere is great, and the drinks are wonderful.  This spot is clearly popular and when we went on a Friday night at 7pm, we had to wait about an hour for a table. On the plus side, once we were seated the service was fast and food came straight away. If you want to avoid a long wait try a weekday, or come for dinner closer to 8pm when the line started to dwindle.

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