Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Viva Las Arepas

I've been wanting to try Viva Las Arepas ever since reading about it on Yelp but never got a chance until yesterday.  David and I were looking for somewhere different to eat and I suggested this place since it wasn't far from where we were.  It's on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Oakey, near the Stratosphere Hotel.

In case you don't know what arepas are, they're kind of like a Venezuelan sandwich.  They also have pork spareribs, chicken, and beef, which I assume are cooked over a wood flame, since the place smells of wood and there are logs stacked in the hallway.  Here's what we ordered:  Garlic Shrimp, Vegetarian, Reina Pepiada (cold chicken salad), Carne Asada, and an order of fried yuca and chicharron.  It was too much food but we couldn't decide what to order.  The tab was $35 for the two of us.

Chemex cozy and reusable cloth Chemex filters!

I love my friend, David!  He's here visiting and I mentioned to him that the only coffee filter I haven't been able to make successfully is a Chemex filter.  Why?  Because I didn't have a Chemex coffee maker to test my prototypes on.  While I was at knit nite last week, David went next door to Cost Plus World Market and bought me one!  It is the CM-8A, 8 cup, 40 oz model.  I have since made 3 types of filters that work very, very well.  One is the square, one is the circle, and the last is another square but it is prefolded and seamed up one side.  I must say that I prefer the unfolded circle and unfolded square.  They work exactly the same way as the Chemex filter in that you have to fold them into quarters, place the 3 layered side against the spout and the single layer opposite.  They are very easy to clean.  I think I'll be offering them for sale in my Etsy shop and on Ebay very soon.

I also wanted to make a cozy for my new Chemex to try and retain some heat in the leftover coffee.  I didn't want to put it on the stove or a warmer.  It was a fun afternoon project to make this fleece cozy and cap.  It gave me an opportunity to dust off my math skills.  I measured the diameter of the top opening at just under 6 inches.  That measurement worked well with the bottom of the carafe as well.  Since the diameter of the circle I needed was 6 inches, I had to calculate the circumference for the pieces that went around those circles.  C=2 X 3.14 (Pi) X 3 (radius), which worked out to just under 19 inches.   The sides of the bottom pieces were 19" X 8" and the sides of the cap were 19" X 3".  I used two layers of fleece and one layer of thermal insulated batting for the body and the cap.  I also used elastic on the bottom to cinch it up.  

I think it turned out so cute but after we all had a cup of coffee there wasn't much left to check out its heat retention abilities.  I may just have to make another set in a Japanese print.