I'm live blogging from la Latina, a Venezuelan arepera hole in the wall place in Midtowm, Miami. This restaurant could also be considered located in the Design District if you want to be finicky. No air conditioning but who cares, I finally found a place in this overpriced Miami neighborhood that I can see myself coming with my Mac and working from here. I see some people with their laptops so I'm sure they have wifi, I suppose to compensate for their lack of air conditioning. I can tell by looking at the people eating that they have a solid following as people walking in to order without even looking at the over sized board with the menu items; they know exactly what they are having. The ladies next to me are wearing high heels, a sign that office people around here are catching up with places that serve good food without the sugarcane prices.
The arepa that I tried is called their catira cheese arepa. When they brought it to my small little shaky table, I was instantly happy. I took a bite and I have to say, I'm a fan at the first bite. I ordered a side order of guacasaca sauce, which is similar to the guacamole, at $1.75 a pop. Although it was extremely expensive as it only brought two small spoons of it, but it was worth it.
The arepa was so delicious all the way. Crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. You can tell these arepas are made here or somehow they look like they are. Addictive.
I never liked arepas, as an Argentine, I'm always happy with my bread but I have been learning that arepas (done right) are exquisite. I hated arepas my entire life, trying a mass produced one a long time ago, it ruined arepas for me ever since. At La Latina, that's definitely not the case.
The other thing that negated me from having arepas was that I was fooled into thinking a Venezuelan arepa only had cheese and ham filling. At La Latina, I would have assumed that melted cheese and crunchy corners of ham would have made that arepa filling, but no, it was just a piece of cheese (queso fresco) and ham. Although it was simple, I tried their variety of sauces and it was an elevated bite hard to forget. I will make my way back to La Latina for sure.
I went all out and threw out the notion about how bad fried food is out the window and ordered fried arepa cheese balls. These are not only decadent, but by eating all six is a sin, which I committed in less than three minutes. I couldn't get over their green sauce or "salsa verde" (I think it sounds more gourmet to call it the latter). Not sure what it is made of but has an herbal taste to it that I loved. I assumed the lady taking the orders was one of the owners as she takes pride in explaining the dishes. The kitchen is small but that doesn't make a difference regarding the speediness of their service.
La Latina is a hole in the wall restaurant I recommend going to those looking for reasonable prices and authentic arepas in Miami.
3509 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137
By Food Blogger, Grace Della