El Arepon brings new dining experience to Bellevue

Jacki Petrow and Alex Jolley

Having never been to a Venezuelan restaurant, we were excited when the only one in Nebraska moved to Bellevue this summer. After starting as a food truck, El Arepon was moved to a more permanent location: a food court in Omaha. However, the food court closed down so they moved to their current location at 1021 W. 23rd Ave.

Before we even opened the door to El Arepon, we were enthusiastically greeted by the owner taking a break on the bench outside.  Throughout our whole visit, both the owner and our server made our experience amazing. 

Since one of us is vegetarian and knows the struggles of finding suitable options, we were pleasantly surprised by how adaptable they were. Richard Mendoza, the restaurant’s owner, went through options of what would be best without meat, as some things just aren’t as flavorful without it. His willingness to help us made our experience ten times better. 

By the time our food arrived we were ravenous and the flavorful dishes did not disappoint. A perfect balance of filling and still not overly heavy–a tricky element to perfect in a vegetarian meal–the main dishes left us satisfied and ready for dessert.

For this we ordered churros. Except that these weren’t any churros. These were magical churros. The crispy exterior contrasted impeccably with the soft inner dough, all tied together with a delicious coating of sugar. 

Overall, the atmosphere and delicious food shaped our visit into a satisfying experience and we would highly recommend El Arepon for anyone who’s looking for a local and welcoming eatery.