Caracas Arepa Bar has been a favorite Williamsburg dinner destination for me since shortly after I moved here nearly six years ago. (Wow six years? Oy vey.) I hadn't been to Caracas since July '12, when my good friend Salvador Sriracha was in town, but this time a visit from my buddy Beafvy (of Beafv's Beerderdash fame, natch) and my brother just after Christmas had us on the hunt for some quality victuals.
For the uninitiated, arepas are a traditional Venezuelan food that feature baked flatbread pockets filled with various stuffings, including meats, cheeses, veggies, etc. At this meal, between the three of us, we split five arepas and an order of their excellent chips and guac and it was plenty of food - arepas are deceptively filling.
The arepas we chose were La Surena (grilled chicken, chorizo, avocado, spicy chimichurri sauce), La de Pernil (roasted pork shoulder, tomatoes, spicy mango sauce), Leek Jardinera (grilled leeks, sundried tomatoes, carmelized onions, guayanes cheese), Playa Deluxe (pan-seared tilapia with garlic-infused oil, sauteed mushrooms, avocado, pickled onions, herb mayo) and a weekly veggie special that I don't remember. No direct link to their menu, but find it here if you're interested in their other offerings.) I immensely enjoyed each except the La de Pernil, but I'm really not much of a fan of either mangoes or dressing pork with sweet sauces, so I guess I probably shouldn't've ordered the fuckin' thing in the first place, huh? <slaps forehead>
Caracas Arepa Bar also has a rum bar with over 30 types of rum from around the world, if that's your thing. They also make great specialty cocktails, seemingly authentic to the Central / South American theme. They also have a really nice little garden in the back, perfect place to enjoy a meal and some beverages during a lazy summer evening. And so forth.
My aggressive dieting over the past year-plus has meant that I've eaten A LOT of salads at a lot of places across the Western half of Long Island. Usually, I'm going to go for a Greek salad type deal topped with well-done chicken breast, one that's ideally big enough to last me through the rest of the day so that I don't need to eat a proper dinner. (Yes, I'm aware that this flies in the face of everything one reads about "keeping the metabolism furnace going throughout the day," but normal diet methodology has never worked for me, so fuck it.)
To that end, Gyrolicious definitely works for my diet, in that the "large" salad is absolutely massive and very filling, and they don't skimp on the chicken. Honestly, it's not rocket science; 9 times out of 10 that's all I'm asking. I also had a bite of one of their gyros (pictured above) which I can report are standard-good. The wings are small and frozen, but still tasty, and the dips I tried (hummus, babaghanoush, spiced feta / tirokafteri) were all fine, as well.
So, the food's solid, at least what I've tried of it. (Their menu boasts a lot of standard Greek restaurant choices that I doubt I'll ever try.) All in all, this is pretty much a textbook "B" place, but I'm going to downgrade it slightly because of the variance in quality of service, at times ranging from "attentive" to "lackadaisical" the few times I've been. But, yeah, decent place; nothing more, nothing less.