Situated in the heart of lower Plateau, Arepera du Plateau is an exciting addition to an otherwise Portuguese dominated restaurant scene. To an uninformed passerby, the little Venezuelan cafe wouldn’t seem particularly inviting what with the sole white sign hanging over the door. Step inside though, and you’ll find yourself in a vibrant, perfectly tacky, restaurant.
The name of the restaurant isn’t creative at all, but it doesn’t need to be, because the food more than makes up for it with its bold flavors. Quite literally, the name just translates to: “An establishment serving arepas in the Plateau.”
Though the restaurant serves traditional Venezuelan appetizers such as fried plantains with cotija cheese and cassava chips, the star here is the arepa—one of the most humble and simple foods known to mankind. Made out of just precooked cornmeal and water, arepas are a staple of Venezuelan cuisine and are akin to bread in the purpose they serve. They can be dipped into a flavorgasmic salsa or used as a sandwich-like vehicle for an array of fillings.
The only difficult decision you will be making at Arepera du Plateau is choosing from the 38 options offered on the menu.
Having no reservations about trying the most succulent arepa on the menu, I opted for La Llanera, which is stuffed with carna mechada, Venezuelan cheese, and avocado slices. Carne mechada (Venezuelan pulled beef) must have been cooked in a tomato based sauce, and the texture of the meat was just right — not dry and perfectly juicy. The salty bite of the cheese and the smoothness of the avocado round out the mighty arepa superbly. (Disclaimer: Ladies, this arepa doesn’t make for the most dainty eating…)
McGill Spoon writer Keah opted for a vegetarian option, an arepa filled with sweet fried plaintains and beans. The addition of guasacaca, a spicy avocado infused sauce that absolutely has to be drizzled in ample amounts on the arepa of your choice, elevates every arepa on the menu.
Next time you’re on the hunt for South American eats, give Arepera du Plateau a try. Its bright interior is a welcome escape from the bleary gloominess of Montreal winter, and the food won’t disappoint.
Location: 4050 Rue De Bullion, Montreal, QC
Hours of Operation: 12 pm – 9 pm Tuesday-Wednesday, Sunday; 12 pm – 10 pm Thursday – Saturday (closed on Mondays)