Once I got past my pronunciation faux pas, I went on and on about what many already know to be the most delicious Colombian restaurant in the Crescent City. Actually, I am pretty sure that Mais Arepas is the ONLY Colombian restaurant in the city, but if another happens to pop up, it'll have to work pretty hard to beat what I tasted (ahem), inhaled at Mais Arepas.
My good buddy Anne ventured into Central City with me that fateful day for lunch. Located in an aqua, two-story building on the corner of Carondelet and Clio Streets, Mais Arepas was rather quiet when we wandered in at around noon, with only one other table occupied. While Anne and I sat down and went over our options, we couldn't help admiring the clean, open space with lots of light coming in through huge windows and rich, dark colors on the walls and drum lighting fixtures dropping from the ceiling.
We both thought it would be a travesty if we came to a restaurant dubbed Mais Arepas and neglected to eat the arepas, so that's what we ordered for our entrees. Anne got the "Cerda" or Colombian-style pulled pork with butter-sauteed, ripe plantains, pickled onions and crumbled cotija cheese stuffed into a thick, hand-made, cornmeal cake a.k.a. an arepas. I chose the the "Mechada" with slow-cooked, headily-spiced beef, ripe plantains, sofrito (a garlic, onion, pepper and tomato sauce) and mozzarella cheese. Both were fabulous, though to be honest, I enjoyed mine a lot more than Anne's. It probably had something to do with the massive amounts of mozzarella cheese oozing all over the tender, spicy beef and sweet plantains. I liked it so much, in fact, that I have not been able to stop thinking about it since and it's become sheer torture to talk about it, share photos of it and write about it without wanting to eat it every single day.