Tucked into the Ardmore train station, this new Venezuelan restaurant is turning out arepas, cachapas and patacon that will blow your mind.
by Melissa Jacobs
When the aroma of grilled corn wafted through Autana’s open door, we knew we were in for a treat. Arepas are one of our favorite foods on the planet and Autana’s are simply spectacular.
Tucked into the grotto below Ardmore Station Café, the Venezuelan restaurant is easy to overlook. In truth, we ended up there by accident and thought we’d stumbled across a hidden gem.
But, no. Every publication in the region has been raving about Autana and the restaurant landed on several recent “best of” lists. Here’s why: perfectly grilled arepas bursting with flavorful filings, cachapas with hearty yet delicately flavored meats, chicken and cheeses, and patacon that are so good you’ll savor every bite.
Don’t know what any of those dishes are? The menu is detailed and able servers fill in any blanks. And if you haven’t tried Venezuelan food, well, you should. Many of the ingredients will be familiar from other Latinx cuisines, but the flavors are unique and made even more so by the preponderance of grilled corn.
The portions are generous and the prices quite affordable, which means that you can over order and have tasty leftovers. Be sure to order dessert; the tres leches is a complete experience.
In early July, Autana morphed from a take-out spot to a full-service restaurant offering lunch and dinner. Take-out is still available, which is a good thing because it’s almost impossible to get a dinner reservation. Lunch is easier; take-out is a cinch. We’re already dreaming of our next arepas. With more than a dozen filling options, we’ll happily work our way through the menu.
4 Station Road, Ardmore, autanapa.com