El Arepazo Latin Grill
Finding a restaurant that claims to serve Colombian food isn’t an easy task in Ohio, but it isn’t impossible either. There are plenty of places that will serve you “authentic Mexican” or Tex-Mex. Most likely, it is because USA natives wouldn’t appreciate the plates that come from South American countries. I’m not saying that there aren’t good cooks and chefs in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Chile…but the normal fare just isn’t what “we” would consider very interesting.
Nevertheless, I wondered if there was a place that would serve up something Colombian if I wanted a taste of Bogota without paying the price of an airplane ticket.
It was my week to choose a restaurant, so we headed out Saturday, around noon.
Getting directions is a good plan. I had a general idea that it was 2 blocks north of the Ohio State House, but the restaurant is hidden in an alley. You might give up, thinking that only delivery trucks drive there. We ended up parking on the south side of the Columbus Commons and walking, since most of the parking meters were taken.
When we stepped inside, there was already a line and the number of available tables was decreasing. We took menus from the rack on the wall and waited our turn. I had considered the Lomo platter, but decided on something smaller: an arepa stuffed with beef. Joel got the carne asada.
Unfortunately, we came during a rush. One of the waitresses was commenting that they had been in the back drinking Starbucks and eating brownies, when all of the sudden a lot of “tickets” came in.
Joel said his meat was what you would expect for Colombian food. His egg looked like they did it just right (the way I cannot), and the arepitas looked more interesting than the ones we used to get alongside the rotisserie chickens in our neighborhood in Bogota.
My beef was quite flavorful; I didn’t add any of there special cilantro-lime sauce to my arepa.
Would we go back? Perhaps, but we would plan to arrive at non-peak hours, or try the other location in Gahanna.