100 Favorite Dishes, No. 78: Arepes at Zaguan
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.
It's like the love child of a taco and a sandwich.
Zaguan is the little neighborhood café you wish you could walk to from your apartment on the weekends. You can get a good coffee and a decent pastry for a song in the morning, and their lunch fare, including those greasy cachapas and hearty chicken sandwiches, is even better.
The arepas, however, are the real scene stealer, if only because they're not so easy to find in the Dallas area. The Venezuelan corn bread is a lot like a super-thick tortilla. And it just so happens to make one heck of a sandwich.
The slightly sweet corn bread can be stuffed with about anything. Eggs, ham and cheese, or all three together, make a fine option, and you can also get a vegetarian version with mushrooms, peppers and onions, or a shredded beef version that's loaded with spicy, fatty meat.
The best of them all might be the most classic of arepa recipes. Riena pepiada is a lot like chicken salad, only the mayonnaise is mixed with plenty of soft avocado. The mixture is used to bind chicken with garlic, herbs and spices before it's stuffed into an arepa with such enthusiasm you'll need a fork and three napkins. It comes with cheese, but you'll hardly need it. And make sure not to pass up those plantain chips and spicy salsa offered as a side.
No. 100: Pastrami Egg Rolls at Blind Butcher
No. 99: Chicken-fried Steak at Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 98: Pasta with Uni Butter at Nonna
No. 97: Camarón en Agua Chile at La Palapas
No. 96: The Wings at Lakewood Landing
No. 94: Chicken Kebab at Afrah
No. 93: Trompo Tacos at Bachman Lake
No. 92: Fish and Chips at 20 Feet
No. 91: Canelés at Village Baking Co.
No. 90: Banh Mi from La Me
No. 88: The Burgers at Off-Site Kitchen
No. 87: The White Album at Spoon
No. 86: Ramen at Tei An
No. 85: Tacos at Revolver Taco
No. 84: Stuffed Chicken Wings at Sakhuu
No. 83: Korean Fried Chicken at Bonchon
No. 82: Grilled Branzino at Tei Tei Robata
No. 81: The Toddfather at Cattleack Barbecue
No. 80: The Biryanis at Chennai
No. 79: Shish Tawook at Qariah