Hola Arepa hits the street, another food truck to follow
|Well, hello Arepa|
Behind the wheel and grill are Birk Stefan Grudem, a bartender at Bradstreet Craftshouse, and Christina Nguyen, owner of the fashionista destination Design Collective.
We stopped by the truck on a recent afternoon to give these little treats a taste.
The arepas themselves are a beautiful little vessel for a lunch. Fat and fluffy, they're a Latin American answer to a Southern granny's biscuit. Plush with a delicate corn flavor and crisp shell, split wide like a grin, they welcome all manner of filling. They're also a solid crowd-pleaser, being naturally gluten-free and vegan.
|Chorizo brat arepa with curtido-style slaw|
The pork is sourced from Fischer Farms and, in one version, is slow-roasted until sweet and tender, mixed with a slightly sweet mango-enhanced sauce ($6). It's folded into an arepa with black beans and a layer of crumbled, salty cotija cheese. To spice it up, we added a healthy squirt of the creamy jalapeno sauce, carefully labeled as "super hot." It was not for the faint of tongue, but it was dazzlingly flavorful--a mouth and sinus wake-up call, beckoning for a hot, smoky return bite.
The chorizo brat offering was a different from a simple Wisconsin beer-soaked brat or a patty of pimentón laced chorizo ($6). It is its own creation, spicy, dressed with a pickled slaw and sauteed, fruity red peppers. The hot, tart, snappy cased pork slices come with a cinnamon zing. The arepa is topped with a version of an El Salvadorean curtido--pickled red cabbage, onions, carrots, and jalapenos. It's bright, crunchy, and sweet, with a solid wallop of heat. And isn't that really all we ask for in a summer day?
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