Twelve Days of Shopping Fairview – Day 6

day-6On the sixth “shop Fairview” day… So many places to do your holiday gift shopping in Fairview Park! In need of a break (and to allow our credit cards to cool down a bit) we decided to grab lunch at what is arguably the most unique restaurant in our community – El Arepazo y Pupuseria. Talk about gifts! Fairview was given a real keeper four years ago when El Arepazo y Pupuseria opened its doors at 22799 Lorain Road.

Serving Colombian and Salvadorian cuisine, this place could not be more charming. Once you step through its front door into the colorful dining area with walls that are decorated with indigenous fabrics, artifacts, posters and pictures, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a little restaurante in Latin America. And the food? Truly an adventure in authentic cuisine. We tried the arepas, which are like little corn pancake sandwiches filled with rice, beans, onions, peppers, tomatoes and your choice of protein (or not—vegetarians will love this place), pupusas, which are thick corn tortilla cups stuffed with cheese and again your choice of a variety of ingredients, and tostones con guacamole, which are fried green plantains with creamy guac. Everything can be bathed in their zesty chipotle or garlic sauce. It was a lot of food. We ate everything.

The menu is loaded, so a return trip to try other items is already on the calendar. Willie, our waiter, explained that El Arepazo y Pupuseria is popular with North Olmsted, Rocky River, and Cleveland residents, but Fairview thus far has been slow to adopt. A word of advice: Go. Take advantage of their lunch menu, or go for dinner, or pick up a gift certificate. Just go. We want to keep places like this in our community.

And don’t be intimidated if you don’t recognize and/or can’t pronounce items on the menu. Helpful explanations are available and the polite and attentive staff are happy to help guide your decisions.

El Arepazo y Pupuseria is at 22799 Lorain Road. Phone 440/718-1961. Hours are Monday through Thursday 11 am to 9 pm, Friday 11 am to 10 pm, Saturday noon to 10, Sunday noon to 9 pm.