photo credit: Cariaco

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$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerLunchSerious Take-Out Operation
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Cariaco offers Venezuelan lunchtime specials that are perfect for switching things up when you’re ready to chuck your 17th chopped salad of the month out the window. We’re big fans of their great pabellón that comes with rice, beans, plantains, and your choice of meat, and also their fried finger foods like cheese-filled tequeños, chicken empanadas, and wonderful arepas. Out of the nearly dozen arepa options to choose from, our favorite is the creamy arepa reina con tajada. This griddle cake is filled with juicy shredded chicken that’s mixed into a salad with mayo and lots of cilantro. The spread is good enough to eat on its own as a dip, ideally in front of the TV with chips, but instead gets jammed into the chewy arepa with slices of avocado and plantain for some extra sweetness.

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