1438 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
Maize specializes in a unique fusion menu that honors traditional recipes from across Latin America, with an emphasis on Venezuelan cuisine. The restaurant takes its name from maize, a corn flour dating back some 10,000 years and first utilized by indigenous Mexicans. The flour serves as the basis for the arepas, cachapas and empanadas served at Maize, and indeed, is the starting point for the restaurants whole concept.
To that end, the menu is colorful and varied, with dishes from across the region that complement one another while retaining their traditional roots like the Peruvian ceviche, Mexican street corn and Venezuelan cachapas and asado negro.
For appetizers, my friend ordered the ceviche ($9) and, on our servers recommendation, I tried the guasacaca gruesa ($8), which is a chunky Venezuelan avocado dip, similar to guacamole, but prepared with olive brine for acidity instead of lime. Allow me, briefly, to exalt the ceviche: it was perfect. Crisp, bright, tangy, fresh; it tasted like the ocean.
For my main dish, I ordered the reina pepiada arepa ($9), stuffed with avocado chicken salad, red onion slivers, queso de mano (think mozzarella but saltier) and cilantro. It was filling and very, very good. Empanadas and traditional Venezuelan cachapas, a sweet corn pancake, are also available. (Leyla Shokoohe)
Photo: Hailey Bollinger