Delicias, located next to the Marrakesh food truck at 40th and Locust, is all about the arepas. This Latin American staple is made from dense cornmeal dough, which is fried and then baked until it resembles a delicious cross between fried polenta and a fluffy English muffin. The Delicias Philly food truck offers the arepa stuffed with one of five savory fillings. I got the Chorizo and Pico de Gallo arepa ($6) and the Pabellon arepa ($7).
The Chorizo arepa was simply fantastic. The arepa itself was crispy on the outside but soft and doughy on the inside. Though subtle, the fried-corn flavor was definitely there, and had me yearning for my grandmother’s cast–iron skillet cornbread. The chorizo sausage added a slightly smoky meatiness that was sharpened by the sweet paprika and spicy red pepper. The fresh tomato and lime of the pico de gallo tied it all together, relieving the heaviness of the doughy arepa and cutting through the fatty chorizo sausage.
The Pabellon arepa, on the other hand, was quite disappointing. The black beans were soggy, the cotija cheese too salty, and the shredded beef somehow managed to be dry, bland and too chewy. The fried plantains, which I was really looking forward to, were mushy and much too sweet. The enveloping arepa itself was still great, but I was not happy discarding five dollars worth of filling.
Though the Pabellon arepa was disappointing, the deliciousness of the Chorizo arepa is motivation enough to give the other arepa choices a chance. The Reina Pepiada arepa, filled with chicken salad and avocado, looked especially delicious. Delicias Philly’s new location adds much needed variety to Penn’s west side, and I look forward to indulging my Latin food cravings with something more exciting than Chipotle.
Delicias Philly 40th and Locust Street @deliciasphilly