I finally succeeded and took pictures while I was eating lunch at El Arepazo. They prepare Pan-Latin food that is made fresh and cheap with enough vegetarian options to keep you from repeating an item during the working week.
I have eaten here a number of times. Unfortunately, I kept forgetting to take my camera. The store is small, and both the inside and outside walls feature interesting art work. El Arepazo is located in the Pearl Alley by Gay and High Streets.
Carlos Gutierrez, the owner, does a virtual tour of food from the Spanish speaking New World. There are vegetarian burritos and empanadas on the menu, as well my personal favorites, the arepa and the patacon from Venezuela.
An arepa (pictured above), is a sandwich on grilled corn meal disks. The vegetarian arepa is made with lettuce, tomato, cheese, black beans, banana peppers and a pinch of the cilantro sauce. It also costs less than $5, tax included.
The patacon is a boat made of deep fried plantain stuffed with lettuce, tomato, black beans, avocado and cheese. It is delicious and enormous.
There are some great sides, including deep fried plantains, the delicious Cuban cousin of the banana that gets a caramel sweetness when cooked in oil. El Arepazo also has free delivery for lunch orders of greater than $10.
They are open Monday through Saturday, and it seems like their hours can be a little bit flexible (as in they open when they get around to it, not by the exact hours on the door). But the service is fast and the fare is affordable and well made.
El Arepazo has been featured in a number of other blogs (here, here and here), and rumors are swirling that Carlos and the owners of Due Amici are planning on collaborating on an upscale Latin venture. If it's half as good as El Arepazo, I'm there with bells on for opening night. Check out the pictures below.