Located in Midtown Miami, FL is La Latina; a genuine Venezuelan “Arepera” owned by Carlos Matheus and Julene Recao. Arepas are the staple of the Venezuelan cuisine and at La Latina, the arepas are gluten-free. This is because their arepas are made the typical Venezuelan way: using authentic Venezuelan imported Harina Pan Blanca (naturally gluten-free), baking them instead of frying them, and cooking them in a “budare” (a type of griddle used for making different types of bread).
Their most popular dishes include:
Reina Pepiada — Chicken Salad & Avocado
Pelúa — Shredded Meat & Gouda Cheese
La Latina — Bacon, Avocado, & Gouda Cheese
Plantain Cups — Tostones filled with shredded meat, reina pepiada, & pork, topped with white cheese
Aside from catering to the needs of Celiacs and the gluten-free crowd, La Latina is also a vegan friendly establishment. Their vegan friendly items include arepas with black beans and avocado, arepas with black beans and sweet plantains, an avocado and tomato salad, plantain cups filled with black beans, and a vegan version of the typical Venezuelan dish, Pabellon (with avocado in place of the shredded meat and without cheese).
Non-Gluten-Free-Friendly dishes include:
- Cachapa — sadly, although mostly 100%, in order for this “corn pancake” to stay together, they add 1/4 tbsp of flour
- Guasacaca — typically this sauce is made with avocados and cilantro, but they add non-gluten-free white vinegar to all of their sauces
- Tequeños — cheese fingers made entirely of flour and stuffed with white cheese
- Yoyos — they’re technically gluten-free but they’re prepared on the same surface as the tequeños and fried in the same fryer as the tequeños are
La Latina’s Secret Gluten-Free Menu:
- Pabellon Healthy — Shredded meat, avocado, beans, and quinoa.
- Milanesa de Pollo — Chicken breast, breaded using gluten-free Harina Pan Blanca, and fried to perfection.
La Latina has a pretty extensive menu with a variety of Venezuelan foods, a great happy hour, everyday, from 5 – 8 PM, and best of all, they’re open late, until 5 AM, on Fridays and Saturdays. With Art Basel running from December 3rd – 6th, La Latina is the perfect spot to complete your Art Basel experience.
For this holiday season, they are offering gluten-free hallacas and they are holding a Venezuelan Christmas food pairing event next Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 at 7:30 PM. For tickets click here.