L’arepa: a piece of Venezuela in Switzerland


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It has been a bit complicated for me to write this post for various reasons. The first, I still can’t believe that today I am blogging about a restaurant in the heart of Geneva which main menu is purely composed of Venezuelan dishes. 10 years ago I could only eat arepas if I was bringing my own harina P.A.N from Maracay smuggled in my suit cases…

Around 2008, I remember in a very cold December morning and through the snow seeing in a shop at the Laussane train station a sign in an African shop with the famous lady in the yellow bag… It was Christmas before time!

In 2012 based on the critical mass of Venezuelans living in Europe the P.A.N products became accessible even more including the one to make cachapas and empanadas… But with my heavy schedule it always stayed at the ham and cheese version of it.

The second reason it has been difficult to write this post is because I know how quickly restaurants open and close here in Geneva, and I am not psicologically ready to see this one go and so I am fighting myself to not get emotionally attached.

And the third and most important reason is because I can’t take any decent pictures of the famous Arepas! because as soon as they are served in our table we become little monsters (including the boys) and you only hear ummmm, Miam, yummi!! Mama more!! Seriously we have been more times than I will actually tell and no success with the pictures So I am going to give you the best shots I’ve  got.

The place is small so I strongly suggest making reservations for dinner, for now they open Thursday to Saturday at night. But you can always have lunch from Tuesday to Saturday.

My favorite of course is La Pelua! It is so pure to its roots, so properly executed, the seasoning is like I am in Las Mercedes at 2am after going out!
Julien’s face with his Catira (arepa with cheese) and his Mango juice….

Et voila! The famous Pelua!  
The Batidos, another Venezuelan preparation are frozen fresh fruit juices done in the moment with the help of a very noisy blender, while they are making them I black out and I am back to Caracas and my student times….

La reina Pepiada! Another classic, basically is chicken salad with avocado and a touch of mayo…
The L’arepa Team is super friendly and is the result of a Swiss Family who loves my country (sometimes I feel even more than I do) and the extraordinary hands of the wife, born and raised in the heart of the Venezuelan llanos… Her carne mechada (the meat in the Pelua) makes me feel 5 years old again!

The prices are super affordable, arriving to the place is like flying 10 thousand kmts and landing to the best kept secret of the Caribean with the music, the smell… And the welcoming of the hosts…

I wish them all the success, many years of tasty arepas and infinite thanks for allowing me to show my children a bit of my roots during this difficult times Venezuelan is passing by which makes it complicated for me to go over there!

Rating: Highly Recommended!