Arepa Con Qué brings to Melbourne the Venezuelan flavor

David Santiago serves a Virgínia Amorim a delicious ‘arepa” with avocado at Arepa Con Qué cafeteria, located at 1898 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne.

Por Maria sonnenberg

It is easy to miss Arepa Con Que, tucked away in a sprawling shopping plaza near the intersection of Aurora Blvd. and Minton Rd, but then, Venezuelan cafes are not that abundant in Brevard.

The sign over the shop David Santiago opened Oct. 1 currently just denotes that a  “bakery” resides there, so you have to be on the alert to discover one of Brevard’s newest ethnic eateries.

Billed as “Venezuela Aroma & Sazon,” the little café represents Santiago’s first foray into the restaurant industry, and he is focusing on the specialties of his native country to differentiate his venture from the rest. 

Arepas, the unleavened maize patties beloved in both Colombia and Venezuela, are the signature dish. Patrons have plenty of difficult choices to make, because Santiago features arepas of many flavors, from the plain arepa served fried or roasted for $1.50 to Arepa Rumbera with pork or pernil and Gouda cheese for $6.50. Arepa La Gringa features hamburger meat, ham, cheese, lettuce and tomato for $6.50, but if that is not enough you can add an additional topping for $1.50.

Cachapas, Venezuelan crumpets and a favorite street food, are also popular at Arepa Con Que. The café/bakery also nods to other Hispanic cuisine with Cuban sandwiches and burritos, plus empanadas and tostadas.

For breakfast, guests can enjoy–you guessed it—more arepas. Combo 4, for example, features one arepa, egg with sausage, cheese and black beans for $7.50.

For lunch, check out the Pabellon Criollo, with shredded beef, rice, black beans and fried plantains for $8.50.

In the bakery, patrons can enjoy five Tequenos, as the cheese sticks are known, for $4.80, or perhaps opt for a Golfeado, asweet bread roll with sugar cane and cheese for $3.

Arepa Con Que also features natural juices, as well as milkshakes. Including guanabana, or soursop, available with water for $3.50 or with milk for $4.

The café and bakery are a family affair for Santiago and his clan. Both his sister and his wife help him there. It is not surprising that the family has pulled together in the effort, for the Santiagos have several chefs in their family tree.

“It I something I always wanted to do,” said Santiago.

Arepa Con Que is at 1898 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne. Hours are from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, call 321- 425-6169 or visit 

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