Chef Manny Torres Giminez celebrated his one-year anniversary at The Palace just last month. Giminez, whose restaurant resume includes A16, SPQR, Quince, and Coi, became well-known for his affordably priced tasting menus at his prior stints at Mr. Pollo and Roxy's Cafe.
Alongside his tasting menu, Giminez has always served a single arepa a la carte. It was his sort of homage to his homeland of Venezuela. But he's now offering an array of arepas for weekend brunch at The Palace.
An arepa is a round flatbread made of ground, more-starchy-than-sweet white corn that is split in half to house various fillings. It's similar to a gordita. Torres first griddles the arepa on a plancha, then finishes it over a grill to get some nice char.
Giminez's Perico arepa has fresh farm eggs soft-scrambled with a mixture of onions and tomatoes, then placed in between the split flatbread along with melted Monterey Jack and salsa de ajo (an emulsion of garlic and cilantro). For good measure, we added an order of bacon, which Torres sous-vides then smokes in-house from Riverdog Farm pigs that he butchers himself.
The full arepa menu feautures eight varieties, including more traditional brunch favorites like The Benedict (smoked pork chop medallion, poached eggs, Hollandaise) and one with house-cured salmon and crème fraiche. Brunch is available 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.