Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Needless to say, I was trying to eat my way through the Oxbow Public Market. Pica Pica Maize Kitchen focuses on maize-centric dishes and specializes in arepas, grilled corn flour that's soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Pica Pica Maize Kitchen's menu is completely wheat and gluten free, which is great for anyone with allergies and celiac disease. They make each order fresh and you can see them make the arepas. It's a very laid back setting. A great place for locals to sit and chat with friends or even the people behind the counter.
To order, first pick a maize bread then choose a filling. The choices are: Arepa - Grilled Corn Flour Bread, Maize'wich - Sweet Corn Bread, or Cachapa - 100% Sweet Corn Pancake. At first I was excited to get the arepa but I really wanted all 3! Time was very short and I had to combine many meals that day so we were limited to only try one dish that day. In the end, I really wanted the Cachapa because I love sweet yellow corn. This dough is originally made by pounding corn kernels with a stone and in some bites you can really taste the flavor of the corn or even find a sweet kernel. I love the sweetness from the corn mixed in with the savory filling. For our filling we chose the Pernil that is Pulled Pork, Tomatoes, Avocado, and a side of Aioli. The flavors came together nicely and they definitely didn't skimp on the filling. We were so stuffed from Hog Island Oyster Co. that we barely could finish one cachapa between the two of us.
I found Pica Pica Maize Kitchen to be very clean and a great place to snack. It's a great variety to Oxbow Public Market. I love exploring new cultures and tasting new delicacies. They had a bunch of Alfajores for sell at the front, which normally I would jump at the chance to eat... but they look like the types Ms. Lin brought back from Brazil and Argentina. I personally love the Peruvian ones and don't quite like the cookies used for the Brazilian and Argentinian ones, so I decided to sit this one out. Still, it is good to know that they are available there!
Pica Pica Maize Kitchen
610 1st St #5
Napa, CA 94559