12/22/14 1:01am

Venezuelan Christmas at a Rego Park Pizzeria


Tu Arepa Pizza Café’s plato navideno.


One of the coolest things about pizzerias in Queens is ethnic hybridization. Sometimes it takes the form of outright fusion—witness the falafel slice—and sometimes a separate cuisine coexists with the pizza. The latter is the case at Tu Arepa Pizza Café a spot that sells slices side by side with such Venezuelan specialties as cachapas and arepas.


Tu Arepa’s Venezuelan Christmas tamale.

Come Yuletide, Christmas treats are available. These include hallacas ($8)—giant tamales filled with chicken, pork, and olives—and pan de jamon ($28), a rather sizable loaf of sweet bread filled with ham, olives, and raisins. Both are  savory, decidely  Queens alternatives to fruitcake.

For $15 you can also score a plato navideno, or Christmas plate. It consists of pernil, a hallaca, a slice of pan de jamon, and chicken and potato salad. It’s quite a feast, and the slice of warm pan de jamon is simply wonderful. On the day I stopped by they were out of the chicken and potato salad, so they substituted a green salad. To tell the truth I was glad they did.

Tu Arepa Pizza Cafe, 100-22 67th Ave., Forest Hills, 718-766-8900

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