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Best Arepas Miami 2011 - Don Toston y Doña Arepa

Like Valentine's Day mystery chocolates or great novels, it's what's on the inside that counts when it comes to arepas. Sure, a good one calls for a perfectly charred and crunchy corn shell. But any half-decent cook who has wandered through Caracas or Bogotá can get that right. No, it's the fillings that really make the arepa. And Doña Arepa, as her name suggests, knows how to stuff 'em. A storefront in a bustling strip mall just west of the Palmetto Expressway on Flagler Street, Don Toston y Doña Arepa is a cute little eatery with rubber banana leaves for napkin holders and tropically painted walls. The arepas, which cost less than $5 (except a $5.95 shrimp version), come with the usual cheese, chicken, and shredded beef, but there's also reina pepiada (chicken salad with avocado), perico (eggs, tomatoes, and onions), and the sinful huevo frito con jamón (yup, fried egg and ham). But beyond compare might be the simple lechón — the succulent pork juices soak perfectly into the arepa dough.
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