A Sandwich a Day: La Chiquinquira and El Venezolano at El Cocotero
In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
When I walked into El Cocotero, a small Venezuelan restaurant in Chelsea, and ordered the El Venezolano Sandwich, the waitress refused. "You don't want that as a sandwich," she said, "you want it as an arepa." I decided to order both and see for myself.
As an arepa, it's called La Chiquinquira and is stuffed with guasacaca, guayanes cheese, avocado and tomatoes. We loved the cheese; it has a bright, salty flavor and paired well with the creamy avocado guasacaca. The arepa itself wasn't our favorite, a bit doughy and underwhelming. And at $9, this arepa seemed a bit pricey to us.
As a sandwich, it's the El Venezolano and has the same ingredients as the arepa, except they use paisa cheese instead. Despite the waitress' warning, we liked this as a sandwich. It was grilled between thin, crisp bread and the ingredients worked together just as well; and since it's $9, you might be getting a little more bang for your buck.