Finally, Kat and I had the opportunity to relax together. Graham didn’t nap so he went to bed early and there were no planned events for new hires or other parties to go to. The night was looking good.
We had no energy to cook so I walked down the street to Casa de los Llanos, a better than average restaurant specializing in Venezuelan cuisine. 10 minutes and $10 later I had two Arepas Llaneras in a paper sack. I went around the corner to the local licoria and bought a $10 liter of the standard go-to rum — Santa Teresa, Gran Reserva. The night was looking really good.
When we lived in LA, where there’s no shortage of good Mexican joints, burritos were our takeout of choice. Then when we lived in Burien, where there’s no shortage of Vietnamese joints, bahn mi sandwiches and pho were our go-to takeout. Here in Caracas, our choices are the hot dog cart around the corner (which will get it’s own post later) or the ubiquitous arepa joint. In its most basic form, the arepa is a simple corn masa pancake. Usually though, it’s opened up and stuffed with whatever one likes: cheese, ham, scrambled eggs, avocado, steak, pork, chicken — you know, the type of things you’d find in a burrito. The Arepa Llanera is one of the more complicated options, sporting a fresh cheese that’s similar to string cheese, avocado, tomato, and steak.
I walked home quickly and plated the arepas. Then I poured a couple Caribes. (Most everyone knows that rum with Coke is called a Cuba Libre. But not till last weekend did I learn that rum with Sprite (Chinotto here) is called a Caribe.) We put Caddyshack in the DVD player and it all turned out; the food, the drink, the movie, the whole night — it was really good.