Zona VIP was open yesterday, so I stopped by for a few snacks. There are also some very hearty-looking soups on the menu, and I wish I had gone that route instead. I ordered an empanada, an arepa, and a “sausage”. From best to worst:
1. The arepa was a lightly fried corn meal “flatbread” filled with chorizo, cheese, and “Creole sauce”, which didn’t seem to be much more than a bell pepper concoction. This was the most flavorful and thoughtfully prepared of the three, and I wouldn’t hesitate to order one again as a side dish or appetizer. The chorizo version was $4, others were $3.
2. The empanada was very tiny and very dry, filled only with shredded beef and served with no accompaniment for dipping. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the only other empanada I have had locally (from the Empanadas Aqui food truck, which has at least four dipping sauces/salsas to choose from), but it was miles ahead of this one. It was about five bites worth of food and is not worth the $2.
3. The “sausage” was actually an all-beef hot dog. I got the $3 “Loco” which was topped with shredded chicken (bland, and added nothing), potato sticks (yes, the fried ones that come in a can), and “sauces”, which turned out to be an excess of ketchup, mayo, and Thousand Island (strikes one, two, and three). This thing was a mess in every possible way.
I’m willing to give them another shot because I’m curious about the soups and want to see if the entrees fare better than the snacks. At least I know what not to order the second time around.