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Caracas Arepas...a Secret I Wish to Keep

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I received the cheap eats issue of NY Mag recently and decided last night to pick a place I haven't been to that I could score a meal for under $15. I narrowed my choice down between Rickshaw Dumpling Bar and Caracas, Caracas winning because it is a closer walk from where I work. Now, I wasn't going to post on this place because it really is a small place and soooo good, but my bf gave me a hard time pointing out how I'm always thankful for recs on this board, and if everyone kept opinions to themselves all of the small hidden gems could not be enjoyed by the many who truly appreciate great food. Besides, it's obviously in NY Mag so word is out anyway.
I ordered the arepa with shredded beef, beans and plaintain with just a lite dusting of cheese as well as the mushroom, leek & cheese arepa. They are small, but filling. The two were a little much for me, but I hadn't had lunch so I was hungry. Both arepas were very tasty, all ingredients fresh and the mushroom arepa was right up my alley. I venture to say it may have been the best super cheap, quick little dinner I've had in a while. Embarrassingly, I followed up later with a cream puff from Beard Pappas. I'm not sure about the general sentiment on that place here on Chowhound but I have to say those things IMO are a little piece of heaven.

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  1. It's no secret: they've even expanded two doors down because of how popular they've become. (Yes, they used to be even tinier ... the "To Go" portion was the original dining room.)

    That place is great. And the sauce!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Mazzer

      Yup, well-discussed on CH. ChowDiva, you may want to compare/contrast your impressions with reviews from this thread 3 years ago when Caracas first opened:
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      PS. Beard Papa cream puffs are well-praised here as well. No need to be 'embarrass(ed).'

      1. re: Pupster

        Wow, that's MY original post on Caraca Arepa Bar. I went just last Friday and it was totally fabulous--again. I just wish it were easier to get a table, but god love them for their success.

        And I STILL haven't been to the Arepa Lady.

    2. And recently praised in the NYT.

      1. I really love the Queso Guayanes, which I first had in the city of Caracas about 18 years ago. They told me they get it from a supplier in Florida. I don't know if it's available anyplace in Queens, but Flor's Kitchen doesn't serve it. It's a bit different than Queso Blanco.

        http://petercherches.blogspot.com