On the Mission's Arepa Trail

Maybe S.F. sandwich culture is advanced enough to allow for variations like the arepa, South American specimens that aren't exactly sandwiches. In today's “Eat” column in SF Weekly, food critic Jonathan Kauffman crafts a Mission twofer juxtaposing Mr. Pollo with Pica Pica Maize Kitchen.

Like some World Cup official, Kauffman weighs Colombian against Venezuelan in a search for the essence of arepa-ness. Kauffman: “A thick, soft corn cake, split like an English muffin and filled with almost anything, including cheese and vegetables, the arepa is the platypus of handheld foods ― belonging to both the sandwich and the tortilla-pupusa classes.” What's more, Mr. Pollo's Manny Torres Gimenez, who's labored in the zona gastronomica of Coi, A16, and Quince, has aspirations beyond the humble sandwich cognate. Get a taste of Manny's four-course tasting menu ― and get a healthy whiff of the vibrant Chipotle vibe at Pica Pica ― at SFWeekly.com.

Oh, and in today's “Eat” Extra, Jonathan Kauffman rounds up the Bay Area's growing circle of South American food vendors.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Follow Jonathan Kauffman at @JonKauffman.

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