Had a great dinner tonight from Viva Mi Arepa, so wanted to share my experiences with the place since I didn’t see any threads about them on here.
I do not profess to be knowledgeable at all about Venezuelan food, but I really love Viva Mi Arepa in West Roxbury (just over the Dedham line). Go there a few times a year and it’s always a hit with me and the family. Am curious if others have been and (1) whether it’s authentic and/or (2) what dishes others might recommend.
Whenever we go, we always get an Arepa (grilled), Cachapa, Pabellon Criollo, and sometimes with an empanada too (have previously ordered the Mfongo but that doesn’t appear to be on the menu anymore). The Arepas and empanadas are good and filling, but the Cachapas and Pabellon Criollo are standouts for us. We really like the sweetness of the corn pancake (especially when there’s a bite of a whole kernel) counterbalanced against a savory filling. All parts of the Pabellon Criollo are really good here: from the rice to the beans to the shredded beef to the sweet plantains to the fried arepitas. Each thing is really good, but the harmony of it all is so satisfying.
By way of comparison, we’ve had Venezuelan food from Ellanna’s in Newton (okay, but not always memorable), Latina Kitchen in Needham (meh), and Orinoco (good, but more formal and we don’t make it into Boston or near-abouts much).
I will say that not having much facility with Spanish can be a detriment when ordering. It’s a delicious lottery for me, but I’m not always confident I’ve conveyed my order correctly when ordering over the phone. The experience is similar to me ordering takeout dim sum over the phone as I also have no facility with Cantonese. But they’re always patient and kind with me. I will also say that if you’re on a schedule, ordering 5PM or after on a weekend can be really challenging. My kids and I all get hangry so I need to make sure I order before 5PM on a weekend.
Hope that’s helpful for folks. Again, would love to know from others if the place is authentic and what other dishes that I might be missing out on.