318 W. 5th Street
Santa Ana, CA
After reading the write-up in Orange Coast Magazine about Mil Jugos in Santa Ana, V and I decided that we had to try it. Mil Jugos is a very small (4 tables I think) Venezuelan joint that specializes in Cachapas and Arepas. A Cachapa is a stuffed griddlecake made with a sweet corn batter. An Arepa is like a toasty cornbread roll that is made into a mini sandwich filled with meat and/or cheese. It is sort of like the Venezuelan version of a slider.
V and I decided to each get an Arepa and share a Cachapa. V decided to get a Arepa Pabellon ($3.75) which has shredded lean beef cooked with garlic, tomatoes, red bell pepper and onions and then topped with black beans and freshly grated cheese. I ordered the Arepa Asado ($3.50) which was described as round eye cut meat cooked in a rich wine and brown sugar sauce seasoned with garlic, capers, olives, salt and pepper. We decided to share the Cachapa Con Queso Blanco ($5.00) which was filled with sliced white cheese with fresh cream.
Mil Jugos also serves a variety of sandwiches including a hamburger. Their sandwiches come with a side of fruit salad and a side of their special chicken potato salad. They looked like a great deal at around $5.00, so I decided to also order the Italian Sub ($4.75) at the last minute.
First out of the kitchen, at lightning speed, were the Arepas.
The corn muffin bun was extremely hot. It was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The filling of the Arepa Asado kind of reminded me of BBQ Brisket. It was sweet and a little smoky. I did not see or taste any olives or capers though. The Arepa Pabellon was really tasty. The meat was juicy and bursting with flavor. If I were to return, I think I would get the Pabellon again, but skip the Asado. Both of the Arepas were made better with the addition of a chimichurri type sauce that they brought to the table. It was pretty spicy though, so watch out.
Next up was the Italian Sub. The menu said that the sandwich came with prosciutto, pepperoni, salami and provolone cheese. I saw meat in the sandwich, but there was definitely no pepperoni. The sandwich itself wasn't horrible, but would have benefited from some pepperocinis and red onions. The sandwich was covered in shredded lettuce and balsamic vinegar. The fruit that came with it was fruit and the special chicken potato salad was a little weird, but pretty good.
The Cachapa was a lot tastier than I was expecting. I'm pretty sure I saw them actually cutting fresh corn off the cob in the kitchen to make the batter for the Cachapa. The griddlecake itself was nice and sweet and almost reminded me of that corn mush they scoop on to the plates at Mexican restaurants like El Torito. The cheese inside the Cachapa was sweet and creamy, cheesy goodness. I would definitely order this again, but I really want to try the ham Cachapa next time.
V and I both really enjoyed our food at Mil Jugos and we are eagerly anticipating our return. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone that is looking for some darn tasty, unique food at a great price.