Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Venezuelan Brunch @ Arepa & Co., Haggerston

Hot on the heels of Easter Bank Holiday, yesterday was also a Bank Holiday here in the UK - the first of two in May (the other one's at the end of the month). Amazing, right? Usually, we like to make the most of these "free" days off and find somewhere to go, but since we've been taking little trips here and there, we decided to give traveling a break and just stay in London. 

When I woke up yesterday morning, I was hungry. It was sunny outside and I was determined to wear my new shorts! So we walked along the canal to The Proud Archivist, because they have such a lovely space and do great food. Unfortunately when we arrived, we were told that the kitchen was closed (!) even though I had called beforehand to make sure they were open and serving breakfast. What a bummer!

Fortunately, I had passed Arepa & Co. on our way to The Proud Archivist and made a mental note to check it out next time I was on the canal, so we simply headed back the way we came and popped in.

Originally a food stall at Camden Market, Arepa has now opened this restaurant right on the canal and it's all sorts of wonderful - full of bright colors, hammocks, with large windows that provide great views of the canal so you can just sit and watch the boats pass by. While they're apparently known for their cocktails and rum, they also serve up some amazing coffee (I ordered a soy latte and John had a fresh mint tea) and of course, utterly delicious Venezuelan food.

I had the Mariana with Chachapa (bottom photo), which is a thick, sweet corn pancake filled with a delicious combination of chicken (so tender and finely shredded that it almost resembled crab meat!) mixed with guacamole and plantains. It was super filling and tasty, especially when accompanied by the tangy chilli sauce that's provided at the table.

John opted for the Desayuno Reina with arepas (top photo) which I couldn't resist picking at too! His platter had black beans, perico, chicken with guacamole, cheese, and plantains. You can put these in the arepas to make little pocket sandwiches. The best thing about these arepas is that they're wheat free and very low in gluten.

I noticed that the restaurant is also featuring a deal at the moment: £6 for a selection of different fillings with arepas plus a hot drink, which is pretty fantastic though our gluttonous meal didn't set us back too much at a total of £24 (including service).

If you're in the mood for something a little bit different and you want to take advantage of the off/on nice weather we're having at the moment, I highly recommend a pit stop at Arepa & Co. It's just so nice to venture away from the usual bacon and eggs/French toast brunches and experience something that's nothing short of a taste sensation. Once again, we felt extremely fortunate that this place (like so many other awesome eateries at the moment) is very nearly on our doorstep.

Try it.

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