Many countries not known for making sandwiches eat foods that are suspiciously similar. Take arepas, a specialty of Venezuela and Columbia: a sort of doughy bun made with cornmeal that's grilled or fried and stuffed with meat, cheese, and other fillings. Almost like a South American marriage of the taco and corn dog concepts, eaten like a sandwich.
San Francisco's Pica Pica Maize Kitchen goes even further with the maize'wich, an invention that replaces the arepa's corn flour cake with sweet corn bread instead. After purchasing a Pica Pica offer from FreshGuide, I recently headed to dinner at the super-casual, order-at-the-counter eatery on the edge of the Mission.
The menu is simple and sandwich-y: your choice of three vehicles (arepa, maize'wich, or the tortilla-like cachapas) stuffed with one of eight fillings. Fillings range from chicken salad and avocado to shredded beef with gouda.
I ordered an arepa with the vegetarian filling (pictured directly above): grilled tofu, plaintains, avocado, black beans, and a side of spicy cream. Served with no sides, it seemed like a small dinner, but in the end I was stuffed. The plaintains were remarkably delicious and the tofu pretty tasty, though the black beans were a bit bland. The arepa, however, was to die for. You could pretty much put anything in that little pocket and I'd eat it.
Andrew got a maize'wich, which may have been even better than the arepa, and his filling, the Pernil, was flavorful too: sweet pulled pork with tomatoes and avocado. With the richer filling, he probably could have had the less bold arepa, while the maize'wich might have been better for my vegetarian sammie. But overall, the food was yummy, including the yuca fries.