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!Ay, arepas! I'd never been much impressed by arepas, those little corn bread disks beloved by homesick Colombians and Venezuelans. Plantains got my attention; chimichurri, the snappy cilantro-heavy green sauce, made me take notice; spit-roasted chicken, with its salty, crispy skin, I adored. And in such company, arepas seemed like afterthoughts, solid room-temperature starch circles designed to support their higher-flying compatriots.

But at Dodo's Chicken (9431 Richmond, [713]789-3636), a Colombian fast-food joint way out west between Gessner and Fondren, the arepas seize center stage. Served hot out of the skillet, their thick white crusts crunch just a little as you bite into them, giving way to the soft, molten center. The taste is elemental and pure: cornmeal, oil, the merest hint of salt. And they're cheap: $1.35 gets you six, each about the size of an iMac's mouse, or you can order them as part of Dodo's remarkable lunch special, $4.55 for a quarter of a roasted chicken and two side dishes.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.