479. El Rey de las Arepas – August 30, 2020 – Detroit, MI

Ah, El Rey de las Arepas, you beacon of fresh, flavorful Venezuelan vittles! My heart sings, my stomach growls, my mouth waters as I lovingly recall my visit to you!

The restaurant in Southwest Detroit had long been on my radar before my late-August visit. This much-anticipated jaunt felt like the perfect one to execute in celebration of my recent emergence from a six-week illness that greatly limited my diet (and that had me consumed with Food Network programming – apparently to torture myself with constant reminders of everything cheesy, fried, and fattening I couldn’t consume???).

After much pondering of El Rey de las Arepas’ menu pre-visit, I called in a carryout order of the K-Rod patacon and one of the restaurant’s namesake offerings, the arepa.

Pick-up was super easy; while El Rey de las Arepas’ interior wasn’t open to visitors at the time of my visit, an outside-facing window counter was. The friendly woman behind the counter chatted with me as she rang me up, saying she hoped I enjoyed the food when she found out I was a first-time visitor.

I hoped I enjoyed the food, too – and I was pretty sure I would when I unpackaged it and saw how amazing it looked!

Looks were not deceiving. The K-Rod, a sandwich with fried plantains as the bread and a generous filling of meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and pink and green sauces, was AWESOME. The flavorful pork was a good choice for the meat filling (chicken and shredded beef were also options), and I was excited to have sides of the sooo-good pink and green sauces to augment what was already drizzled on the patacon.

And the arepa! WOW is an understated exclamation for that little baby. My reaction as I was eating it was, “How can something seemly so simple taste this good???” The mini sandwich of tender shredded beef and savory shredded white cheese nestled in between two fresh-grilled, pillowy corn-flour flatbreads was PHENOMENAL. Much love, El Rey de las Arepas, for blowing my mind and my taste buds here! I need to come back and buy not just one arepa but MANY-MANY-MANY.

BTW, dear readers: if you’re unfamiliar with Venezuelan pink and green sauces (as I was), here’s what my internet sleuthing turned up. The pink sauce, or Salsa Rosada, primarily consists of ketchup and mayonnaise. Different recipes I saw kicked up that combo with ingredients such as brandy, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. The green sauce is called guasacaca and is typically made with such ingredients as avocado, parsley, cilantro, vinegar, and garlic. Yum!

7701 McGraw Ave.

Detroit, MI 48210

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