Updated: May 23
Conveniently located a literal stone’s throw from our front door, Arempa’s has quickly become one of our favorite lunch spots (and, with loads of gluten-free and vegan options, we know there’s something here for all of you, too). We spoke with owner, Sandy Cortes De Arrieta, about just what makes this place so special.
Photography: River Stephenson
Homeworks: What is your favorite part about being located on State Street? Why/how did you choose that spot?
Sandy Cortes De Arrieta: We’ve been [in our current location] since October 2019. My favorite part about the location is being in the center of downtown and really being a part of the community and growth of Salt Lake City. We really enjoy having all the students and tourists who come through our beautiful city. Also, the views are spectacular. Truthfully, I think the spot picked us just as much as we picked the spot. It was absolutely perfect, and we found it as we were on our way to look at a different location.
Hw: Tell us a little bit about what makes Venezuelan food so delicious and special?
SCDA: We are big fans of food so we appreciate all cuisines and have learned a lot from different cultures! I have always been a fan of cooking delicious food for my kids and family members and have had a lot of influence from different culinary backgrounds, so I have used that in our own recipes to spice things up a bit. Venezuelan food is delicious and special because it's made with lots of love (seriously—we really go out of our way to make sure our cooking staff is happy and cheered up because that energy transfers into the food). Also…we have our little secret ingredients :).
Hw: What is your favorite dish on the menu currently? What is the most popular dish?
SCDA: It really is hard to pick a favorite dish from the menu because there is a dish for any time of the day! Hungry but need a quick yummy snack? Empanadas are the way to go! Want lots of flavors and a mix of textures that will cause your mouth to water? Arepas will take you on a journey! Coming in hungry and ready to expand your palate? Try a Patacon with avocado and an egg and get ready to be transported into flavor heaven! I believe the current favorite dish is The Arepa.
Hw: What would you like our readers to know about Venezuelan people, food, and culture?
SCDA: Our food and culture are about sharing and having a time where the family can sit down and be together around delicious food and all kinds of flavors. Our culture is very family-oriented and that's what we have tried to bring to the table here! You come in to visit us and eat with us and you are family to us :).
Hw: Is there anything else you'd like to share?
SCDA: Dear readers! First, we want to thank you for welcoming our food culture and being so amazing in helping us grow not only with the amazing feedback but also with how much you tell your friends and family that we are a "must try" restaurant! Stay tuned because big things are coming this year.