Arepas Caffe, Friar Street, Reading
Just to let you know, this post was written before I went fully paleo to help ease my psoriasis. Nowadays I eat a more allergy-friendly diet, but leave these older, non-paleo posts up in case they are useful to readers, as I know not everyone eats the same as I do. Thanks for your understanding.
We have a bus driver friend. And the other day he stopped me in the street. 'Have you seen the Venezuelan cafe in Reading? You've got to go, they have churros.' And if there's one way to get me to a restaurant, it's with the promise of churros.
We also ate an empanada - filled with meat and cheese. I ordered this mostly out of curiosity to see how they differed from the empanadas I'd eaten in Argentina. And they differed quite a lot. Argentine empanadas are crisp and flaky, and made from pastry - whereas the Venezuelan ones are light and crisp - fluffy, even - and made from a similar corn-based dough to the arepas.
But we couldn't leave without eating churros. After all, that was what had lured us there in the beginning. They were light and long - not as dense as the churros we ate in Argentina - but crisp, hot and delicious. You can choose to have them dusted with cinnamon sugar or served with a pot of melted chocolate. We asked for both. Naturally.
Prices are reasonable too - at £5 for each arrepa - but we didn't need to eat dinner that night, we were still full. That's value for money in my book.
It's so good to have proper, authentic Latin food in Reading's town centre, especially when at first glance the town looks like it's chocka with chain restaurants. People say that to me quite a lot when I say I live in Reading, as if the only choice is between Miller and Carter or Krispy Kreme. But the independent guys are all there if you look hard enough for them. And I promise, it's well worth it. Go on in and say hola.
Have you eaten at Arepas? What did you think?