Monthly Archives: October 2007

Chicha: nature’s pepto-bismol?

Need a schwack of food to kill a hangover? In the East Village? Caracas, the Venezuelan “arepa bar” at 91 E. 7th Street, might well be a candidate. Their breakfast specials, served on plates deceptively small in circumference, might be two of the bigger gut bombs in the region. Besides the plain arepa, both combos feature perico, an egg pie sans crust. I’d pick the vegetarian combination with beans, plantains, tomatoes and avocadoes over the combo including the slightly generic and sweet shredded beef, hearts of palm, and a salad (though the fried cheese with the meat platter was darn good).

You’d be equally well off, though, just grabbing whichever arepa sounds most appealing and indulging in the molasses-thick Chicha, the rice milk and cinammon conoction that practically annulled any trace of the previous night’s activities even before the food was served. It’s just cool and gooey enough to be soothing and coat the stomach, though I’d probably opt for the smaller of the two sizes next time.

The coffee was brewed with sugar, though not an obnoxious amount.

I think the best thing I ate was the Yoyo, though. It’s hard to argue with plantains engulfed in a bready dough, deep fried and slightly salted. It’s like a dumpling with a treat in the middle.

I had been curious to try Caracas for several years, and while I wouldn’t call it a destination attraction, it’s not a bad place to end up after a night of drinking. Waking up in Tijuana, on the other hand…

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