Arepas have gained popularity in Miami throughout the past few years, and the newly opened Amaize in Doral is hoping to be a leader when it comes to this market. Cleverly using the English word synonymous with corn in its name (which also happens to be what arepas are made from), this addition to the neighborhood happens to actually live up to its name and deliver an “A-maize-ing” product.
The concept stems from the fast casual idea that restaurants like Smashburger follow. Basically, you have a menu with preconceived variations of arepas and an option to do it yourself. After you order in line with a visible kitchen operating in front of you, you pay and are handed a number. You choose an available table and your food is then taken to you. Although I do appreciate the method that has been concocted to get the product to you in an efficient manner, I am always confused about whether I should tip the person bringing my food to the table. Although they are not technically a server, they always manage to provide stellar hospitality. Everyone hear has a genuine want to cater to your needs, leading to one of the most satisfactory customer service experiences I have had in Doral in a few months.
The suggested menu arepas are based from those available in the concept’s native Venezuela, such as the Reina Pepiada (called the Beauty Queen) and the Pabellon (called the Mechado Mix). On the other hand, Amaize has also created a few options to cater to the American market. Such is the case with Portobello-Tofu combo and the Caprese Latina Combo. After sampling the Mechado Mix, I can say that the arepas at Amaize can easily become a lunchtime staple. The Mechado contained flavorful and succulent shredded beef similar to ropa vieja, black beans that added earthiness to the overwhelming flavors of the beef, shredded cheese that added a cool and refreshing aspect, and baked plantains that provided sweetness. Overall, this arepa was a successful exercise in hitting all major flavor profiles.
Visiting on a weekday night led to quite a surprise due to a packed house. Usually, restaurants usually slip up within their first few weeks of service, but Amaize was comfortable caring for all the customers. It is clear that everyone is properly trained and happy to be there. Management has done a great job, and this is a concept that I would not mind seeing in other locations.
3887 NW 107th Ave Unit 101. Doral, FL 33178