At an arepa bar, it's hard to think outside the crisp goodness of an arepa, but at Doggi's, try another Venezuelan delicacy.
Sure, the place proffers large, tasty arepas with fillings ranging from Guayanés cheese to pabellón criollo ($6.50 to $9.89). However, the cachapa ($8.49) just might capture your heart and taste buds.
The cachapa comprises a semisweet corn pancake filled with queso de mano. The corn pancake has the taste of a sweet tamale and is like a flattened, fluffy corn cake. It is so much more welcoming than the dense arepa casing. The texture of the kernels comes through in certain bites, and some areas of the pancake are topped with crisp golden spots for a touch of crunch and extra depth of flavor.
The queso de mano was mozzarella-like, with a tough string-cheese consistency that simply didn't want to be cut. However, it did offset the sweetness of the pillowy pancake. For more milky relief, the inside had crema, and the cachapa was topped with organic white shredded cheese.
Adding protein ($3.50 extra) is unnecessary. The shredded beef was a bit cold and tough; plus, it'll get stuck in our teeth.
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The cachapa was tasty and filling enough on its own. The massive half-moon took up the whole plate.
This dish with the sweet corn and savory cheese is a winner, but the arepa variations leave a lot to explore. Thankfully, the playful interior and friendly service make an inviting environment for delving into the menu.
Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst