It’s no secret I have a mild obsession with food trucks. Ok fine, mild is slightly inaccurate – more like when I see a food truck I start to bounce up and down, clap my hands with childish delight, and exclaim to whoever I am with, “Look it’s a food truck!”.
The food truck scene in the Twin Cities has exploded over the past few years, and much to my delight I am fortunate enough to work in downtown Minneapolis within walking distance of the streets frequented by these mobile culinary delights.
With this being my first food truck season where I am close enough to go during my lunch hour, I decided it was my duty to all of you to eat at as many of them as possible and let know how they are.
My first stop of the season was Hola Arepa. What’s an Arepa? It’s a delicious cornmeal patty cooked on a griddle. Like a crispy cornmeal pancake. Yummy right? Now, stuff piles of meat, black beans, veggies and whatever else you want in between two of them and you’ll start to understand what Hola Arepa is all about.
In a world of sandwiches, sliders, and salads, Hola Arepa’s twist on lunch-time fare is a nice addition to the Twin Cities food scene. The Latin flavor combinations and house-made salsa bar at the service window let you taylor your experience with as much flavor and spice as you like.
I ordered the slow roasted pork arepa – pork, black beans, cheese and their special sauce, which is definitely worth a try, with a side of chips, salsa and guacamole.
The guacamole was fantastic, perfect with the crispy, lightly-salted chips, and I greatly enjoyed sampling several of their house-made salsas. Their special sauce has a lovely sweet flavor that made me think of ripe mangos, and when I combined it with the tangy, green tomatillo mild salsa it was a perfect accompaniment to the creamy guacamole.
One arepa doesn’t seem like much when you’re hungry and waiting in line for your order, but they pile their arepas high will fillings that keep you full for hours.
The pork was juicy, and I loved the addition of black beans and special sauce within the buttery, crispy arepas. However, I did find the pork to be a bit over-salted for my taste. If you’re a fan of salty bacon (I’m not) you would probably love it, but the salt made it difficult for me to pick up on the other flavors in the arepa as I continued eating.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t return to Hola Arepa in the future. They listed some amazingly thirst-quenching sounding drinks on the menu I didn’t have a chance to try, and I’m curious to sample their vegetarian arepa offerings as well.
This is a great food truck to visit if you eat gluten-free or even vegan. Their selection is above and beyond that of other food trucks for those two groups, and they can make alterations to some regular menu items to accommodate your food needs.
Over all, Hola Arepa is a great addition to the Twin Cities culinary scene. If you’re new to Latin foods, or are looking for a salty treat, Hola Arepa is the place to check out.