Pabellón Arepa filled with shredded beef, plantains, black beans and cheese from
Pal Carajo Arepa Lounge.
Two new eateries expand Coastal Virginia’s international palate. Pa’l Carajo Arepa Lounge introduces the area to arepas, the round, unleavened maize-based bread which forms the crux of Venezuela’s quotidian cuisine. Grilled or fried, they come stuffed pita-esque with shredded beef, cod, cheese or a fine-threaded chicken salad and avocado. Empanadas and platters of pabellón (shredded beef, black beans, plantains and rice) are also draws at this casual, counter-service spot evoking an Andean ski lodge.
Thoroughgood Commons, 1642 Pleasure House Rd., Virginia Beach. Facebook.com/PalCarajoArepalounge
Carthage is full-service—unless you opt for the all-day buffet, a supreme value and an efficient way to survey many tastes of Tunisia, a Mediterranean-bordering, North African country. It may be stocked with homemade ommek houria (piquant, pulpy carrot salad) and tajine (a quiche-ish baked egg dish, not the Moroccan stew cooked in ceramic pots) as well as pizza, lasagna and stuffed vegetables. From the equally enticing menu, try ojja (four soft-cooked eggs atop tomatoes, peppers and onions plus choice of merguez, tuna, seafood or vegetables). Names may sound exotic, but a mingling of French, Italian, Greek and Middle Eastern influences coupled with warm hospitality, make Carthage Mediterranean Bistro & Buffet feel familiar.
Pinewood Shoppes, 2935 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach.