Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Arepas for Taco Tuesday

This Tuesday, I took a turn away from your typical taco. Friends and I headed to Barroco Grill in Lakewood for their arepas. Their Colombian "food with character" is gaining popularity, and it was time to check it out for myself.

Luckily, I was using my GPS because I may have driven past it if I wasn't looking closely. It's a small place, with very minimal signage. Free street parking was easily available right in front of the restaurant. Here's a tip: There is a back dining room that is a lot cozier just down the hallway. That's where we headed, thanks to Julie.

I had asked Twitter earlier in the day what we should order, and a popular response was the Cheesy Corn ($8) appetizer to share. Corn al gratin with chicken, bacon, melted white cheese and served with arepa fries.
Personally, I wish that there had been a little more corn in the dish. Cheese was the dominant flavor, but of course that wasn't a bad thing. I mean, come on, it's cheese. The thick-cut, fried corn cakes for dipping were very good. My only complaint? When the arepa fries were gone, we still had about half of the dip left. It would cost us an additional $4 for more. Um, no. Thankfully, we had regular fries coming with the arepas and could continue to dip. But, don't charge me for a dip and then not provide even close to enough chips, fries, whatever to actually eat the dip. That bugs me.

Our arepas arrived shortly after (well, mine arrived about three minutes after everyone else's). Apparently, they ran out of crinkle fries because I received a different kind of French fry from the others and that held it up. All three of us ordered the Pork Arepas ($9) with green peppers, mushrooms, onions, corn, and cheese. It is served with a side (choice of fries, black bean soup, or tortilla chips).
The fried corn tortillas make a little pocket for the meat and toppings, but I do suggest leaving it in the tin foil because it can be messy to eat! I went through five napkins.

The pork had nice flavor on its own, but the real highlight of my meal was the variety of house-made sauces that arrived with the arepas.
Favorites were the Garlic Sauce and the Pineapple. The only one that I didn't care for was the Chimichurri, but I also didn't try the ketchup/mayo combination sauce. It was fun to try them all on the arepa, and as dipping sauces for the fries.

So, splitting the appetizer and ordering one arepa left me with a bill of just over $18 with tax and tip included. Not too bad, and the food was all clearly made in-house and is something unique on the Cleveland culinary scene. Definitely worth going back. Have you been? Head over to Julie's blog to read her thoughts on the place. She's been several times now, and recommends the chicken arepa.

Barroco Grill
12906 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, OH


Holly said...

Inconsistency with chips/sides/bread is another issue. Have ordered the same app from one place before. One time got a ton of bread, 2nd time not enough to dip. I mean it was a huge disparity. Ask for more bread and it was begrudgingly provided.

alexa @clevelandsaplum said...

i've only been there once and enjoyed my meal of a steak with an egg on it (i forget the fancy name) - the garlic and pineapple sauce with the fried plantains though?!? OMG. glorious

Wearing Mascara said...

Awesome review! It was a good time for sure. I can't wait to have the chicken again.