Pica Pica Maize Kitchen – Napa, CA

IMG_0454I had heard about this little place tucked into the Oxbow Public Market in Napa through where else? the internet of course. It’s a Venezuelan arepa shop that is not vegan, but is easily vegan-adaptable. (I believe they also have a couple locations in San Francisco)

After the wine tour (where I too happily over-indulged) I was on the lookout for something quick, good and substantial. I got take out from Pica Pica Maize kitchen, which I immediately inhaled while gushing about how amazing it was in my hotel room.

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I ordered the tofu, black bean puree, plantain and avocado arepas – one traditional corn and one sweet corn – and a side of yucca fries. They normally have a non-vegan friendly sauce, but just one note to the waiter and I was hooked up with the dijon sauce instead – which was surprisingly good and had a bit of a surprising spicy kick to it.

I raved about the meal all night. The corn arepa had a great crunch on the outside, but was softer on the inside and was stuffed with all that amazing Venezuelan goodness. But seeing as though I was in a compromised state, I didn’t fully trust my tastebuds.

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So…I went back the next morning for a brunch before hitting up more wineries. And you know what? My tastebuds were spot on. Just as good as I remembered, maybe even better!  (Yes, I ordered the exact same thing…) And eating at their little counter allowed us to watch the chef put everything together. Eating in, they served the arepas with a nice side salad as well.

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And you have to admit, they photograph much better out of the styrofoam! So if you’re looking for something quick and substantial before winery touring, this is definitely a good option! I actually wish I could go back for dinner tonight…

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