I 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.
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.
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.
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…