I had the honor of catching lunch with Tasha Eakin of The Food Tasters (promoting only the best in Pittsburgh!) this past Friday. We were discussing Cafe Con Leche's upcoming Sobremesa Supper Club series, happening from March to August at Most Wanted Fine Art gallery. Tasha was gracious enough to invite me to be on the YaJagOff podcast to promote the dinners and talk more about Puerto Rican food. And of course there is not a more perfect way for us to prepare for a podcast together than by eating arepas at The Colombian Spot in the Pittsburgh Public Market!
Arepas are the most amazing food to come out of South America and are commonly eaten in Venezuela and Colombia. Each country has their own special way to prepare arepas (and don't ask me to say which one I like better because I am staying neutral here - I have love for both Venezuela AND Colombia). Baseline, arepas made of ground maize or cooked flour; similar to Mexican gorditas or Salvadorn pupusas. You can eat arepas any time of day, with any kind of meal. They are often split open and made into sandwiches stuffed with cheese, chicken, avocado, beef or pork.
At The Colombian Spot I ordered the arepa de pollo, which was an arepa stuffed with pulled chicken mixed with mayonnaise and avocado, Tasha got an arepa mixto which was stuffed with a mix of beef, chicken and pork belly; we split a pulled pork empanada. To drink Tasha got a mint lemonade (Tasha loved this drink so much she got one to go) and I order an Cafe Con Leche (which was of course the bomb since this The Colombian Spot and what is a Colombian restaurant without amazing coffee?). Both of our arepas were just simply perfect. The flavors and textures were right on (the arepa was crispy but not hard) and they looked beautiful. The pulled pork empanada was stuff with sweet and juicy pulled pork. They had three sauces to accompany the dish - mayoketchup (because what Latino restaurant doesn't serve mayoketchup), an aji picante (spicy sauce), and (my personal favorite) a green garlic sauce. AMAZING!!!
I was really happy to be able to get to The Colombian Spot before the Public Market closed. But not to worry because I heard from a little birdie that The Colombian Spot will be moving to Oakland for their next location. *Fingers crossed* because I am really craving a bandeja paisa! (When I get that dish I will write a whole other blog post in an ode to the bandeja paisa....)
For a chance to win TWO FREE TICKETS to a Cafe Con Leche's Sobremesa dinner, check out The Food Taster's website. Listen to this week's YaJagOff podcast where I teach Spanish-Pittsburghese.