One of the perks of working in publishing is flexible hours in the summer. We have the option of putting in extra time Monday through Thursday, and once Friday rolls around, we skip out at 11:30 a.m–well, I skip. Everyone else may be a bit more civilized about it.
I use this time to run errands, read or watch Netflix, take long naps, and have drawn-out lunches with my husband (or all of the above). Since he works near downtown, I like to go to his neck of the woods and visit establishments that I am unable to frequent during my usual hours.
One such place is El Arepazo Latin Grill which is only open for lunch (its Gahanna location specializes in wine and tapas, and does have dinner hours if you can’t make it to Pearl Alley). Naturally, I had to make this our kickoff summer lunch.
There was a lot of hustle and bustle going on as the Pearl Market was taking place. The market is in the alleyways between Broad, High, Gay, and Third and runs Thursday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to browse because we had to claim a spot in line–a line that was spilling out the door. Queuing up isn’t the most fun thing in the world, but please stand in this line for me (and you). It will be worth your while, I promise. Kill some time by looking over the menu because once you make it inside, you’ll need to place your order at the register. Throw in a natural juice ($3) while you’re at it. I know, I’m being bossy again, but just listen to me.
My husband is half Tico, so these juices transport us back to Costa Rica, but at a much cheaper cost. Tico Thom ordered the mango juice, and it tasted like sunshine, pura vida, and beaches. Lies. It tasted like the freshest mango, but you know what I’m getting at.
The space has limited seating, so either get your food to go and have a makeshift picnic outside, or do as I did, and hover. Nobody enjoys being a hoverer or being hovered on, but it’s a necessary evil. Either way, we managed to get a table, and without a second to spare! It didn’t take long for my carne asada ($10) and his Mexican sopes ($8) to arrive.
My meal included marinated skirt steak, rice, black beans, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and arepita. His lunch involved shredded chicken, black beans, mojito, avocado, and lettuce on top of two deep-fried, white corn shells. Both came with El Arepazo’s famous cilantro sauce (you can buy bottles of it for $6 or $9) which was a perfect complement to the meat.
I won’t try to twist your arm or anything, but the carne asada was muy delicioso (oh hai, elementary Spanish) though Thom would argue his was better. You can’t go wrong either way. There is nothing on this menu that I can find fault with–my only complaint is that I can’t eat here more often.
El Arepazo Latin Grill is located at 47 N. Pearl Street, Columbus. Open for lunch everyday except Sunday. Hours are Monday through Friday from 11a-3p and Saturday 11a-4p.