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El Cocotero - Arepas

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This rustic and informal Venezuelan restaurant makes a killer arepa called Pabellon, which is a fresh corn cake, halved, and filled with highly seasoned shredded steak, white cheese, black beans, and fried sweet plantain. A perfect little sandwich for about seven bucks (really you need at least two for a meal). I highly recommend the Guasacara as a side dish, which is basically very good Venezuelan-style guacamole - a nice counterpoint to the beef.

Also tried a cold arepa sandwich, the Chiquinquira, a refreshingly light and tasty combination of guayanes (white) cheese, avocado and tomato.

They serve tostones topped with different things called, cutely, Plaintain Crostini, which I plan to try next time. They also do full entrees, which I noticed a lot of the South American patrons ordering.

18th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.

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  1. I'd be interested to see how it stacks up to Caracas' Pabellon, which is my favorite of theirs. Anyone had both?