Favorite Twin Cities Restaurant (right now)

I don’t like the word foodie.

I think it sounds kind of pretentious. It might be because I usually associate “foodies” with people who only eat at all the hip (overpriced) restaurants in town.

Me? Most would consider me a foodie, but I’m obviously content with just a cob of corn. That’s at Yum! in Minneapolis and it’s actually incredible corn!

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Yes, I like to eat out, and discover all the amazing restaurants in Minneapolis, and wherever I’m traveling, BUT I definitely appreciate the cheap, hidden gems of a city. I can name at least a dozen authentic Mexican restaurants that are light-years better than that Mexican place you went to Downtown and spent $10 on chips and salsa. The chips and salsa are even usually free at the good places. I hope the people don’t actually consider those expensive places authentic, because I want the places with the Mexican grandma hand mixing tortilla dough, and the son taking orders from customers. Those are the places people should be consuming good Mexican food, like El Burrito Mercado (right), and Adelita’s (left).

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I want the word foodie to mean someone who isn’t afraid to try new and weird things, and not just someone who coughs up a whole paycheck to eat at Gavin Kaysen’s world renowned restaurant (Spoon & Stable) in the Warehouse District. It is an incredible restaurant though!

Maybe my definition of foodie is wrong though. I don’t know.

Anywho. I do love me some good handmade tacos, but my favorite thing right now is the Venezuelan Arepa. I’ve been following Hola Arepa since their days as a food truck in Downtown Minneapolis. I knew what an Arepa was. I just knew I would like it because my favorite part of a taco is the corn tortilla, so if I could get juicy meat inside of a fat corn tortilla I think my life would be made.

And it was!!

I fell in love with Hola’s delectable “sandwiches.” They offer around 10 different kinds of arepa fillings on the menu at all times. I recently went and had one with slow-roast pork and sweet potato with a tangy aoili. Is that what heaven is like for Venezuelans? 😉 Another one of my faves is the chimichurri chicken, because I’m a sucker for some tangy chimichurri. It’s one of their more basic offerings but definitely doesn’t lack in flavor. The picture below is the slow-roasted pork with black beans and cotija cheese. Just look at that thing. Who wouldn’t love that?

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I’ve talked enough about the arepa though. If the arepa is my husband, I’m having an affair with their yuca fries. O.M.G you guys! Why do people even make fries out of potatoes?? Every fry should be yuca. Actually everyTHING should be yuca (??). It’s a starchy veggie with way more health benefit than a potato, and it tastes better? These people are geniuses. The yuca is sweeter than a potato, and the texture is the killer. It’s super crispy and almost buttery on the outside, and then creamy and soft on the inside. EVERY dish in the world should come with yuca fries. I’m serious!

If it’s not clear you should already be on your way to this place in South Minneapolis, then maybe I should mention they have an ice cream sandwich with a cornflake and butterscotch cookie!!

I know you’re drooling, but there’s a problem. You can’t eat here whenever you want. I mean, there’s almost always a wait unless you usually eat your dinner when you should be eating a midnight snack, which by then you can get their happy hour specials (10-close). So come to Hola Arepa, and put your name on the list and prepare to wait a bit. Although, the best part is that they have really really good drinks, so at least you can enjoy the wait, or at least numb the pain…

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Bonus: almost the entire menu is gluten-free, so all you people that are actually gluten-free can enjoy in peace! For all the gluten bandwagon people, stay away, because you probably don’t know that it doesn’t make it healthier 😉

Healthy or not, it’s what I want to be eating right now!!

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