Welcome to Allergy Free & Cheap Like Me!

gluten, dairy, egg & soy free

I’m so happy you are here! I hope to create a place for you to find lots of information about food allergies, as well as, lots of goodies to help you not only eat better, but more affordably! Please feel free to share all of your own tips, tricks, and recipes too! Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again very soon! You can read more about my allergy story here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Arepas Obsession!

My fascination (my husband calls it obsession) with Venezuelan food started last winter in New York when my husband and I met a friend at El Cocotero. I had an Arepa and honestly, I have been craving one ever since! What is an Arepa?  Well, it was described to me kind of like an American hot pocket.  Made out of cooked cornmeal a pinch of salt and water then stuffed with any kind of yummy goodness you would like. Check out my homemade arepa recipe blog post to make your own homemade arepas!

Pica Pica Maize Kitchen in San Francisco
While in San Francisco, my husband and I stopped to eat at this little Venezuelan restaurant called Pica Pica Maize Kitchen. I had found it online before we left for our trip and decided I wanted to stop in. At Pica Pica Maize Kitchen the main ingredient in all their foods is corn. The entire menu and kitchen is 100% wheat and gluten free. To someone who is gluten sensitive, that has a wonderful ring to it!  You simply pick your maize bread and then choose a filling. For your bread you can choose from an Arepa, Maize’Wich or a Cachapa. Then you have 10 wonderful choices of yummy fillings. 

I had the Arepa with #6-Catira (sautéed chicken in their signature sofrito, with cheddar cheese) without the cheddar cheese of course. 
My husband had the Arepa with #7-Pernil (pulled pork, sliced tomatoes, avocado, aioli) and he added my cheese. Both were very delicious! If you are in the San Francisco area stop by and try Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, who can resist dinning at a place who has a 100% gluten free kitchen?
Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, 401 Valencia Street @ 15th, San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-400-5453.
Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, Oxbow Public Market, 610 First Street, #5, Napa, CA 94559, 707-251-3757.
El Cocotero, 228 W. 18th St. #1, New York, NY 10011

Mil Jugos in Santa Ana, California
Another Venezuelan restaurant I found online was Mil Jugos in Santa Ana, California. I didn’t have time to sit and eat in the actual restaurant itself and I didn’t get a chance to snap any pictures of the restaurant or the food and I really wish I did, because the arepas were to die for!  They really were fantastic and you can’t beat the price!  I ran in to order two arepas to go while my husband waited in the car. I got the pollo arepas, (shredded chicken breast cooked with garlic, tomatoes, onions, salt and pepper). They were literally done in a matter of seconds and were served hot with their green sauce* on the side, all for only $3.50 a piece!  They were delicious!  My only disappointment was I didn’t get to go back for more!  If you are in the Santa Ana area, I highly recommend stopping by Mil Jugos and trying some of their yummy arepas!

*A side note on their green sauce, I believe it does contain mayo so I did not try it but I hear it is fantastic and really adds to the taste of the arepa, so if you can handle mayo go for some green sauce, but if not make sure to avoid it! They did put mine on the side in its own container but I got my order to go. It’s always safer to ask for it on the side to give to a friend or not at all if you cannot have mayo!

Mil Jugos, 318 W. 5th Street, Santa Ana, California 92725, 714-836-4601.

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